Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Weekly Devotion: "Pray" or "Prey"

·         “Like as a lion that is greedy of his prey, and as it were a young lion lurking in secret places.” Psalm 17:12
·         “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” Matthew 6:6

As you can see from the verses above; if we don’t “pray”, we will become “prey to our “adversary the devil”, who is “as a roaring lion…seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). But what is prayer? Genesis 24:12 and 45 say, “And he said O LORD God of my master Abraham, I pray thee… And before I had done speaking in mine heart…” So prayer is defined as speaking to God in my heart, not just idle thoughts, but intentional conversation directed to the throne of God. So what kind of things should we be talking to God about; what are the different kinds of prayer that we should say?

“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;” 1 Timothy 2:1

We have listed here; four different types of prayers that should be lifted up to God the Father. Since God knows our thoughts as well as our needs, prayer is for our benefit so that our thoughts become more like his and we see God as sufficient to meet those needs! So how often should we pray?

“Pray without ceasing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17

This doesn’t necessarily mean that we are to be constantly communicating with God all the time although Christians can. Practically, it means that the line of communication is always open and that we have not broken fellowship by harboring sin.

“If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:” Psalm 66:18

Communication is the lifeblood of any relationship; prayer is how we speak to God, and his word is how he speaks to us. Since we have two ears and one mouth, why not devote 1/3 of our quiet time to prayer and 2/3 to reading the Bible, listening for that “still small voice” (1 Kings 19:12).

“Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.” Psalm 142:2

Prayer is likened unto “incense”; a fragrant smell that rises slowly from a fervent heat. In the Old Testament, the fire for the incense had to come from the altar of sacrifice, God actually killed violators (Leviticus 10:1, 2). This teaches us that our prayer must originate from a relationship established by sacrifice, Christ’s! Satan desires you as a “prey” and would have you to believe that “you don’t have a prayer”, but you do, a salvation prayer. The word “pray” simply means to ask, could it be that you have never asked God to apply the sacrifice of his son to your sin, or have asked with wrong motives?

“…ye have not, because ye ask not.  Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” James 4:2b, 3

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