Who are we?

In this blog, there will be a variety of material: thoughts on Bible books, book reviews, historical characters, aspects of Scottish church history and other things.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

How to pray personally to God (Matt. 6:5-7).

First, says Jesus, we have to have a place of privacy. In the time of Jesus, most Jewish homes would have a small room where a person could go and not be observed or interrupted. We have to locate such a place: it can be done going for a walk, it can be done by sitting in a chair, it can be done in many different locations. What is important is that we find a place where we can pray to God in secret.

Second, we have to realise that we are coming into the presence of God, the heavenly Father. As Jesus says about the Father, he sees us there. Jesus is not stating a mere truism here – we know that God sees us everywhere. Instead Jesus is stating a wonderful reality, which is that God is present in a special way when his child engages in secret prayer.

Third, we must remind ourselves who the God is to whom we are praying. Jesus does not mention every attribute of God here; in addition to God’s presence, he also mentions God’s knowledge (he knows what we need) and God’s goodness (he rewards or answers the prayers). In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus tells his disciples to begin by thinking about their relationship with God. 

Therefore, we should focus on any of his attributes that meet our particular needs at a given time. If we are confused, we should think of his wisdom; if we sense weakness, we should focus on his power; if we are sensing the end of the journey, we should think of his heavenly home.

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