Well, now that you mention it

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In the book of Luke, chapter 11, Jesus gives His disciples a sample prayer. Not the prayer to end all prayers, but rather a starter prayer. Then they were to build their relationship with the Lord from His example. But too often in vain repetition the world takes a prayer and recites it again and again in hopes of yielding different results. Imagine if I came to you every day and said nothing but, “Hello friend, Your a good soul, may God bless you with food to eat and forgiveness and protect you.” And then the next day again I come to you and say, “Hello friend, Your a good soul, may God bless you with food to eat and forgiveness and protect you.” And again the next day and the day following. How annoying would that be! I don’t believe you’d feel my love for you, but rather you’d feel I was patronizing you as a friend. I fear God may feel that way with us. While I don’t recite the Lord’s Prayer every day, I say many others that, even though they are heart felt and desired, they’re not necessarily thought out and inspired. There is a time and a way for repetition in prayer, but it’s not through memorization. It’s through meditation. When we begin a conversation with God, while He’ll take it from an obligatory vantage point, He would much prefer, it were from adoration. 

The Adoration of God

If rather than the repetitious conversation from above, I came to you each day and said, “Hello friend, what can I do for you today?” Suddenly that conversation sparks opportunity. And you might say to me, “Well, now that you mention it, I need your help with…” And so our relationship grows and you feel loved and I feel needed. And it’s a great day! The same holds true with God. Just as any earthly Father, God wants to feel loved and appreciated. After all He is our provider. Jehovah Jireh. That alone gives us plenty to say to Him. 

The Consecration of  God

When Christ gave the disciples His prayer, He addressed God as His father and then said “Hallowed be thy name.” Can I tell you that I often forget Who’s throne it is that I’m approaching. If we want our prayers answered, we might begin by realizing that the God we’re speaking to is a Holy, perfect, and all knowing God. He didn’t want the pretentious attitudes of the Pharisees, He knew their hearts already, and just wanted truthfulness and the recognition that He is all that and a bag chips and He makes the world go around. Consecration is to ordain, or dedicate something to God as Holy and Sacred. It’s also the acknowledging that He is Holy and Sacred. Thinking of Him in that respect does not diminish the fact He is also a relational God who understands our humanity. The religious of Jesus’ day (and ours) just puffed themselves up through vain words and showmanship. God just wanted them to be real.

The Motivation of God

God gave this wonderful illustration after the prayer of friendship. 

Luke 11:6-13 KJVS

[6] For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? [7] And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. [8] I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. [9] And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. [10] For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. [11] If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? [12] Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? [13] If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

He tells them of a friend who came to spend the night with Joe, and the friend was hungry, but Joe’s kids were in bed and he just wanted to get some rest himself. He had to work in the morning. But the friend would not shut up. And so Joe got out of bed and gave him a fried bologna sandwich (probably not; unless it was made of chicken) but any way, he did that not because he loved his friend, all though he did, but because his friend kept asking and asking and asking! It was wearing on his soul. 

For the record, we do not wear on God’s soul. But, He does honor repetition borne from the Spirit with passion and desire. This is when repetition is fine with God. When we want something for the right reasons. When our kids ask us for a sandwich, we don’t give them spinach. Well maybe bad parents do. 😂 But a good parent wants to give their children something that satisfies their longing and is good for them! God is no different. But He’s not speaking of prayers that ask for cars and houses. While those things may or may not be needful, God is much more concerned about the spiritual state of His children. Verse 13 says as much:  If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? 

This of course was written before the Holy Spirit was placed in man. We now have the Spirit in us every day without fail if we are saved. And even though He’s within us and certainly knows the desires of our hearts, He still wants a relationship with us. From the beginning, in the garden with Adam and Eve, all God wanted was a relationship with them. When they valued the product of the tree more than their relationship with God it had to have been gut wrenching to Him. I don’t believe it’s any different today… and yet I’m so guilty.

Last weekend my Apple Pencil broke. Oh my stars, I was absolutely lost with out it! It didn’t stop me from using my iPad but it certainly squelched my creativity. It’s an expensive tool of the trade for a artist and I spent my week in frustration, whining because I didn’t have my apple…. good grief. I was such an “Eve.” I could have better spent that time getting creative in my conversations with God, but I did not. Just like Eve could have yelled for God to come to her rescue, but she let that idiot Satan tempt her with that apple. I know it was a fruit… not an apple. But my point is, its a physical thing, that took away from the spiritual. Just Iike my apple.

Perhaps Joe should have gotten out of bed and spent some time asking his friend… “what can I do for you?”

Today we should be asking God, “What can we do for you?” We need to adore Him more. Respect Him more. And passionately seek Him more. 

When the disposes ask Jesus for a sample prayer, Jesus didn’t hesitate, He gave them the spiritual guidance they needed. But when some lawyers came on the scene later in the chapter and ask Jesus why He was upset with them, He answered them too!

Well, now that you mention it…

Luke 11:45-46 KJVS

[45] Then answered one of the lawyers, and said unto him, Master, thus saying thou reproachest us also. [46] And he said, Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers.

There’s got to be some action involved with our friendships. Including that of our friendship with God. When we go to Him in prayer, seeking the many desires of our heart, we need to ask Him about the desires of His heart…

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Shari Johnson. (aka The Jesus Chick) has been encouraging women of faith and youth for a closer walk with Christ for over ten years. Having a burden for the leadership in American Churches, much of her writing is meant to spear on the servant of God to do more for the cause of Christ in these uncertain times. With humor, transparency and solid bible teaching Shari outlines messages that are easily understood, life applicable, and often with easily remembered points to ponder in hopes that they’ll be reflected on throughout the day and serve as encouragement on the go. Her servant’s heart is grounded in her own local church believing that it is there that the greatest impact can be made and unfortunately suffers the greatest neglect across America. Shari speaks at women’s gatherings in hopes of leaving a giggle in their soul and a burning desire to serve in their own local body of believers having it said of her “I laughed, I cried, and I was drawn to the foot of the cross…” Which is what it’s all about. For information on scheduling Shari, call her direct at (304)377-6036, message her via email at talk2shari@gmail.com or find her on Facebook!

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