Feb 18, 2018

Devotion - 18 February - P is for Prayer

A brief prayer is offered that you can add to your daily prayers this week. The scripture is from our Sunday Service Bulletin for today.  Today we start a Lenten sermon series on the Lord’s Prayer. The devotion theme was inspired by Grant Osbourne’s “Commentary on Matthew”, 2010.
Gospel Reading- Matthew 6:5-13 [ESV]
“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
10 Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread,
12 and forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from evil.
Devotion: “P” is for Prayer
There are two major messages in Jesus’ instruction on how to pray. First: prayer, like giving [an excellent parallel] must be private rather than ostentatious.  Second: the goal is to worship God and present your needs to Him, not to gain notice for your piety. This model for prayer is also a model for Christian living, namely you should center on worship and God’s concerns before your own needs. When should you pray? Paul says: “pray at all times”. I believe God prefers quality over quantity so one idea would be to find a private time that you can pray without distractions which can be difficult. The deepest prayer could be at work or when you are under pressure when you might say: “Lord, I am in trouble. Give me wisdom and thank you for being with me right now.” It happens to all of us, life deals us something that puts us under stress to the point that we do not know exactly what to do. Can we share that need for help with the One who cares deeply and unconditionally for us? Let us all be ready, when we are under stress,  to give this little prayer for wisdom and thanks a try.
We pray: “Lord, give me wisdom and thank you for being with me right now. Amen”

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