Acceptable Prayer: Part Four
When the heathen pray to their idols, their thought is that they must do great things so that the idols will not hate them. They are afraid of their gods, and think they are always trying to do them harm. When they pray to them, they do not love them, for they can have no idea of a kind and loving idol.
When we pray, if we have been saved, we are not praying to an angry God, for God is our Father. He does not hate us, but loves us, and longs to do good things for us. So we love to pray to Him and to trust Him to answer our prayer in the very best way.
You remember the story of the prodigal son. He had left his father and spent all his money in bad ways. When he had nothing left, he went back to his father, to ask him to make him one of his servants, so that he would at least have enough to eat. But the father met him, and put his arms around him. He forgave him for all his bad ways, and took him back into his home again, not as a servant, but as his own son. That is the way with our Father God. We have sinned and displeased Him but He loves us and forgives us. So we come to Him in prayer, and say, "Our Father.” And He is far kinder than any father on this earth, for He loves us with a perfect love.
When I was a very little child the only prayer I knew was "Now I lay me down to sleep.” I used to say it every night. But afterwards I learned that praying was far more than just saying a little rhyme prayer like that. Prayer is talking with God. We can talk to Him at any time. We do not have to wait until night comes and we are going to bed to talk with Him. Before we eat, we like to stop for a moment to thank Him for giving us our food. And many other times during the day we have things to talk with Him about. There is a verse in the Bible that says: "Pray without ceasing.” This does not mean that we are to be continually saying prayers, but rather that we are to be talking with God all day, just as we would talk to our dearest friend. Of course we need to have a time to talk with Him especially and ask for the things we need, and thank Him for all He has done, but many other times we can speak with Him, too.
Satan hates to have us pray. He would do anything to keep us from talking with God. So it is not surprising that we do not find it easy to pray. Every time you start to pray, Satan comes along with something else for you to do. But if we truly love God, He will send Satan away, and we shall be able to pray with joy to our Heavenly Father.
We must not pray just for ourselves, for that would be selfish. We should pray for our friends, and for those who do not know the Lord Jesus, both in this land and in the dark lands across the sea. And above all, we must not forget to tell the Lord Jesus every day that we love Him and want to please Him more than anything else in the world.
- Why do we not need to be afraid of God while we pray?
- How is praying talking with God?
- What does it mean to pray without ceasing?
- Why does God want us to pray to Him?
- Is it ever wrong to pray for ourselves?
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