Prayer

 

 

“Then Moses pleaded with the Lord his God…..” – Exodus 32:11

 

Exodus 32 opens with an event that turns my stomach. Not only are the Israelites falling deeply down the spiraling rabbit hole of unbelief, but it spreads throughout the camp; even after they’ve witnessed God’s power and miracles. What’s worse, is that Aaron joins in with them, instead of being a steadfast leader. They were making a golden calf while Moses was delayed in coming back down the mountain. This, in itself is ironic, as the Israelites had just sworn to Moses saying basically “just give us laws to follow and we’ll do it- we’ll do anything, just tell us” (paraphrased). Yet, here they were, wallowing in their rebellion and unbelief just because they were a little tired of waiting on Moses.

When Moses is alerted to what is going on, by God Himself, we see a beautiful aspect to this particular narrative. That aspect is the intentional communication with God- prayer! It is a vital component of our relationship with God!

We know that God speaks through His Word and listens to our prayers. Psalm 116:2 says “Because He has inclined His ear to me; Therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live”. Some translations say “as long as I have breath”. As beautiful as that is, it is only one side of the intentional relationship. The other side of that is for us not only to pray to Him, but to listen. Listen to the Holy Spirit prompting us and guiding us.

For today, we are going to talk more about the aspect of us seeking Him intentionally in prayer, as Moses did. Granted, Moses was there on the mountain WITH God (physically). You may think it would be easier to pray or converse with God then, being able to see Him. Know that God not only hears our prayers, but the Holy Spirit fills in for us when we don’t even know what to pray (Romans 8:26).

We are to “pray without ceasing” and to “seek His face continually”. You may be asking yourself, how is that possible when I have to drive, work, eat and sleep? I am learning, as I get older and go through more in life, that it is fully possible to “pray without ceasing” and to “seek His face continually” because it is not only literally praying, but also an attitude of thanksgiving for everything and looking for God’s hand in all of the day’s events. This different paradigm allows for an intentional prayer relationship because I am seeking after Him and also seeking His guidance during the day and also thanking Him during the day. That is a healthy relationship! We don’t want to just go to God when we need something or are “at the end of our rope”, but rather intentionally and continuously speaking to Him and listening for the Holy Spirit’s prompting. How would it be if I only communicated with those I loved when I needed something? Or when I was frustrated and couldn’t figure something out? What if I never thanked them for things I saw them have a hand in?

We must be intentional with our communication with our Savior! Intentional in our reading of His Word; intentional in our seeking His face in prayer (and listening as well). Is prayer your steering wheel or is it your spare tire?

Matthew Elroy

Disciple of Jesus, Husband, Father & pastor.

2 thoughts on “Prayer

  • April 3, 2018 at 02:29
    Permalink

    I have a difficult time praying in a group of people. I’m not at all eloquent. Most of the woman and men just have the right words. I’m more like a second grader just learning at 69 years old. I have heard that their is an ORDER in which we should pray, which confuses me even more. Can you explain this for me?

    • April 3, 2018 at 22:09
      Permalink

      Another wonderful question. Prayer should not be complicated; it is simply talking to God. It does not need to be “eloquent”, it needs to be real. Meaning, prayer is something that needs to come from your heart. When I’m talking to Him, many times I trip up in my words. The Word actually says that the Spirit of God intercedes on our behalf when we don’t know what to pray. I find it helpful to pray throughout the day to myself – a conversation with God. Simple things such as “Thank you Lord that so and so came to church today, I haven’t seen them for a while.” I wouldn’t say that out loud, but in my heart. My encouragement is to carry on a conversation with God they way that you would with any other person. We don’t talk eloquently to our spouse using “Thee and thou”, rather we speak and listen. This is how it should be with God. Again, my encouragement praying publicly – keep it simple, the same way you pray to Him when you are alone.

      As to the “order” of prayer. Yes, the Lord did say “Pray then in this way”, and continues with what we know as “The Lord’s Prayer”. However, that is a model to keep us from being self-centered. It is not a requirement. Jesus Himself did not follow it every time He prayed. It’s helpful to look at it and think about it, but please just have a conversation with God and try not to be so formal. Yes, you are talking to the God of this universe, but you are also talking to your Abba (daddy) Father.

Comments are closed.