How much of your day would you say is devoted to your prayer life, what percentage of your waking hours would you say are devoted to speaking to the Lord? If we were to apply 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing,” then the answer would be all the time, but I do not know whether anyone who has ever been born can say that with all honesty. How about if we add Proverbs 3:6 into the equation, “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” That would mean that every action that we have determined to take we would first seek the Lord for guidance, and again that would infer prayer.
When those present with the Lord Jesus that day asked Him to teach them to pray, He started off with, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.” (Matt. 6:9) A pattern to follow, but one along with Psalm 23 that many religious organizations, and even individuals has turned into a repetitive mantra, magic words that are meant to invoke the favor of God. “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking,” (Matt. 6:7) comes to mind here.
I believe that many have forgotten not only Who it is they are praying to, but the stance, so to speak, that they are to take while speaking to Him, while praying. It was not that long ago that when people gathered together to praise the name of God that they would lift up their hands and look up into the sky and seek the mercies of the Most High. Times change though and now the majority bow their heads, close their eyes, and put their hands together in a semblance in their mind of the posture of humility.
What of those we read about in the Scriptures whose face was on the ground, laying prone in humble adoration. When was the last time you were on your knees at the throne of grace? Does the penitent heart need the flesh to assume a position before it can approach the Lord of all creation with humble prayers and requests? I would ask you this, what position do you see yourself in the first time that you will meet Jesus Christ in person, and is that the position that you humbly present yourself to Him in your prayers today?
How we pray is at times just as important as what we pray, and that is the purpose of this short letter, what is the intent of your heart when you pray.
I do not believe I need to offer the order of our prayers to most of you, if indeed you have been born-again, you know the pattern, but has your heart fallen from that pattern, or is there a spot in your house where the floor is worn down from being on your knees? Is your pillow discolored because of the tears that have flowed from your eyes, is your bottle full? (Psalm 56:8)
Our pattern of prayer can only lead to one of two places, a well-worn path or a well-worn rut. The first knows the way to glorify God, to praise His name, to seek His face in all humility, asking our requests with “Thy will be done” and meaning it. The second is a repetition of well-worn words that long ago lost any true meaning, long ago became nothing more than the words we have been accustomed to repeating.
Do your prayers come before the Lord as a sweet-smelling incense, (Psalm 141:2) or do they not even get past the ceiling? The posture of our prayers, no matter which position you believe your flesh should be in, is to always remain the same, in humble gratitude and reverence to the Most High, Creator and Sustainer of all that is and ever will be. If you are not approaching the throne of God in confidence and great humility at the same time, you might want to wait until you’re a little more prepared.