Approach God In Prayerproperly
The apostle Paul, commissioned by Jesus and inspired by the Holy Spirit had this to say in speaking to the Christians at Thessalonica as he encouraged them to live obediently:
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-22 KJV)
"Pray without ceasing". That wasn’t a suggestion. That is a command…to those at Thessalonica as well as to us! He even explains that these things are the "will of God in Christ Jesus". If you sincerely wish to live a life in Christ and you do not pray, start now and don’t stop. There are many other verses confirming this necessity, but the necessity is not what our article is concerned with as much as the praying properly and with the humble reverence we should to an omnipotent God.
A few years back, this writer heard a radio evangelist preaching to his audience. Fortunately, God has erased my memory of the man’s name. Otherwise I would feel obligated to name him. But he was speaking loudly, harshly and demandingly. He was urging his audience to approach God’s throne boldly and demand of Him to remove your financial woes, and to request adequate blessings to cover your financial needs, home repairs, children’s education, and on and on. And he told them that God did not want to hear mealy-mouthed whining but wished his children to stand up boldly to him. We are indeed, admonished to approach the throne of grace boldly, read this:
But boldly has the meaning that we may feel comfortable in apprpoaching God to plead for His grace and guidance. It in no way, means that we have the right to approach this highest and greatest of all beings to demand anything. Certainly we are not to consider ourselves on the same level with God and His Son. Read seriously and prayerfully the advice Jesus gave the disciples when they asked him to teach them to pray:
And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. (Luke 11:1-4 KJV)
Study this prayer. The first three sentences (6 phrases) are addressed to God, exalting Him expressing desire that His kingdom would soon appear and be successful. The rest of the prayer is a simple plea for sustenance, forgiveness and guidance. No demands, no haughty words to infer that He owes us anything. We can feel comfortable in speaking to such a gracious God, but never as if he is obligated to us in any way, nor that we are worthy of his grace.
There are those who feel unworthy of approaching God. This is a commendable attitude. However, this is precisely what the writer to the Hebrews has reference to above. “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace…”. We have been assured by Jesus that we do have the right to approach God and plead our case. For this reason, we should end our prayers with “… we ask these things in Jesus name.” We has given us the authority to do so. But certainly not to make any demands as if we deserve anything. Even forgiveness of our sins is purely an act of grace, since none of us are worthy of such.
Praying honestly to God with the proper attitude can comfort one, can even improve one’s physical health. A sincere and humble prayer before reclining at night can calm your mind and help you get a wonderful night of sleep and rest. And when you enjoy such a nightly gift, never forget to thank Him sincerely when you rise in the morning.
Jesus gives us a parable which explains the attitude we should have when we approach God’s throne in prayer.
Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. (Luke 18:10-14 KJV)
Go to God in prayer frequently and continuously. But never with the feeling that God owes you. God owes you nothing, yet he promises you eternal life with Him and His Son, if only you will humbly submit to his commands.