If we pray to God on how we want things to be, our prayer life may be rather silent. This may be similar to a barking puppy telling his master what needs to be done despite the puppy's lack of experience and wisdom.
One of the larger concerns among pastors today are modestly mature Christians whose hearts are closed to further learning of Grace. Some parishioners compare themselves with earthly standards rather than realizing that’s not the finish line.
When we surrendered our hearts to Jesus and were born again, this "birth" places us in a new world of learning similar to that of an infant, John 3:3-22. Just as a young child has a natural curiosity to learn, we are directed to have a similar perspective toward learning grace, Matthew 18:3-4. Prayer is essential for us to fulfill our role as a student and the Holy Trinity as our teacher providing the lesson plan.
Consider how Jesus prayed in Luke 22:42 at the Mount of Olives, "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” Jesus' prayer included:
God's heart must have ached during his beloved Son's pleas prior to man's crucifying Christ. Yet, if God had yielded, the gift of salvation God offers us would not have occurred. The gift required Christ to give himself for the sin of man. 1Timothy2:5-6
There was once a young Born Again Christian. He prioritized his life to do things he thought God would want and asked God for direction.
Twenty years passed as he listened to hundreds of sermons on God's will and had prayed the "Lord's prayer" a thousand of times. The man was okay with the concept of God's will prevailing over his own; however, there was still some reluctance.
One day, the man shared a conversation with a church youth director who had taken a shortcut in life involving a pregnancy and once struggled with drug addiction. Her approach to prayer was a complete submission before God. She possessed a selfless humility in desiring that God's will be done as she expressed her concern.
The concept of herself was non-existent as she laid out her heart before God. The man finally recognized his own unenthusiastic hesitancy toward God when compared to the youth director's free flowing desire to have things done God's way.
This man now prays:
Teach me to Listen and to possess a heart that is willing to hear.
“How does God hear our prayers?” Is it by sound waves? Or, by thought? God knows the thoughts that we are not proud of.
The story of the bible is one of God desiring eternal fellowship with those willing to honor his holiness. “Grace” is the journey God is offering to get us there. This destiny of righteousness is the gift that was made possible through His son, Jesus Christ.
The difference between knowing it and living it…is derived through prayer.
Next Chapter: Conclusion
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