Last Sunday, we started a new series about prayer entitled— “The Power and Protocol of Prayer.” The reason I titled this series this is because these are two very important things that I believe we need to understand about prayer: We need to first know that there is indeed power in prayer. When you and I pray to the Father in Jesus’ name, heaven and earth can be moved to see results when, in the natural, there seems like there is no way things could ever change. So, prayer—the kind God has intended—is indeed super powerful. But I also included the word “protocol” because in order for us to tap into the power that is contained prayer, we need to understand how it works.
We looked at James 5:16 last week and saw how Pastor James said that “The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” And we saw that the words “avails much” means that it “possesses a great amount of power and ability.” So, prayer holds awesome power! But not just our own idea of prayer, but a specific kind of prayer—the effective fervent prayer of a righteous man or woman. In other words, in order to be more effective in our prayer lives and to see its potential power, we must learn God’s protocol for this powerful kind of prayer.
The word “protocol” describes an official procedure, a system of rules, or we might say a proper way of approaching someone or something. How many of you know that God has given us a way of how to approach Him and a procedure of how to approach prayer itself? He most certainly has! There are rules He’s put into place that get the best results in this area.
So, this prayer protocol is a big part of what we are going to learn in this series: What prayer is; what it’s not; how to do it; etc. In short, we are going to learn how prayer works and how to see the answers we desire when we pray.
Last week, we began with the question—What is prayer?
I made the point that to some, prayer is no more than a position or posture. To them, it is us getting on our knees, folding our hands, bowing our heads, and closing our eyes. To others, it is rehearsed or memorized statements that can be said with the person praying’s heart and mind being completely detached. But is this true?
I am the type of person that likes to ask questions like—Why do we do this? Why do we get on our knees when we pray? Why do we close our eyes? Why do we bow our head? Why do we say the things we say? Now I believe that some of these things are good to do when we pray, but I also believe that we need to know why they are good and not just do them out of tradition or habit.
So, we also learned from this that just because somebody prays, it doesn’t mean that they know God or are a truly spiritual person. In fact, prayer is one of those things that even those who do not know God can do.
The truth is—religion (the bad kind) loves to pray. We see that the other religions of the world, like Muslims, Hindus, etc., pray much more religiously than most of us Christians do. Now based on what we know to be true, these other religions that pray do not know the one true and living God, right? So, the fact that someone prays does not make them godly or spiritual. In fact, Jesus taught us that hypocrites love to pray (We will cover this more this week).
So, we defined prayer from the New Testament and found that it is “intimately approaching God (coming face to face with Him) for the purpose of communicating with Him.” In short, we could define prayer as our communion with God.
You see, the word “communion” describes the union of two people. So, prayer is simply our coming together with God and enjoying fellowship with Him. This means that prayer is a part of the relationship that we have with God. And, of course, a big part of this relationship is that verbal communication that we have with each other. This means that prayer is so much more than our requests and petitions; prayer is the vehicle which drives our relationship with God. In other words, our prayer life is how we arrive at a healthy, vibrant relationship with the Lord because it requires us communicating with Him.
When asking people to pray before, I’ve gotten responses like— “I don’t know how to pray.” I’m like— “You obviously know how to talk. So why can’t you pray?” You see, praying is simply communicating with God like you and I communicate with any of us. It is not using words you don’t normally use or talking in a way you don’t normally talk. No, there is not some special thing about prayer other than you are communicating with someone whom you cannot see. Therefore, it requires faith to do so. But the communication with God itself does not require some fancy, unique talk.
But we learned that this is what Christianity is all about—relationship with God. Yes, it is not a religion, but a relationship. It is what the Lord intended from the very beginning when He created man. He wanted someone created in His likeness and image that He could come, walk, and talk with. He just wanted a family—He wanted a marriage and He wanted children. This is why the New Covenant that we have with God is described as the relationship between a Father and His children and a Husband and His bride.
Church, I said these things today because we need to know what prayer truly is. Once we know this and act on these truths, I believe we can begin to experience the power of prayer in our lives—because we know the One whom we are praying to. Amen? This is the first step in the protocol of prayer—basing it on relationship and not religion. Amen.
WHEN YOU PRAY
So, since we learned what prayer is last week; this week we will learn what prayer is not. In short, we will be looking at things we need to be aware of “when we pray.”
So, I want us to go over to Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and look at a section of Scriptures where, as Jesus was teaching on the motives of the heart and us not just outwardly observing religious deeds, He begins teaching on our prayer lives. Therefore, when Jesus begins to tell us how to pray, He is primarily dealing with our motives for praying. And, church, this is an important part of prayer.
I made the point last week that we need to ask questions as to why we do the things that we do. Why do we get on our knees? Why do we fold our hands? Why do we close our eyes and bow our heads? If we do things like this when we pray, we need to know why we do them instead of just doing them out of tradition or habit.
Well, I believe we need to know why we are praying too, looking at our motives behind the things we are doing in prayer. This is what I believe Jesus was doing in Matthew 6:5-8—He was exposing the hypocrisy of prayer. He was revealing the hidden motives behind these religious prayers and exposing the error in it. And I believe these are things we need to address as well so that we can make sure that none of this hypocrisy is in our prayer lives. Amen?
Jesus begins in Matthew 6:5 by saying, “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.”
Notice, first of all, that He said, “And when you pray…” So, Jesus opened up with this statement that assumes that we have a prayer life. In fact, He begins verses 6 & 7 with this same statement as well. So, in the mouth of three witnesses, this word ought to be established in us—that it is not a matter of if you pray; it is when you pray.
You see, most believers look at prayer as a suggested and beneficial thing to do but they do not see it as something God actually expects from us. But the truth is—prayer is not an option; prayer is a commandment! In fact, prayerlessness is actually sin! In First Samuel 12:23, the Prophet Samuel told the people of Israel, “Far it be from me that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you…” We can see this same mentality throughout the letters of the apostle Paul where he continuously talked about how he never ceased to pray for the churches. Paul also taught those he was writing to that they were to follow his example. In First Thessalonians 5:17 he told us that we are to “pray without ceasing.” In Ephesians 6:18, he said, “praying always…” Therefore, this unceasing and continuous prayer life that Paul possessed was also something he expected other believers to have as well.
So, when Jesus said, “when you pray,” He was assuming that we possess this unceasing and continuous prayer life. This shows us that prayer is to be an expected part of our life. Amen?
Then Jesus begins to tell His hearers that when we pray, we are not to be like the “hypocrites.” Now the hypocrites He was referring to were obviously the religious leaders of that day. So, what that shows us is that if those who were supposed to be the leading the Israelites in their religious functions were praying hypocritically, how easy do you suppose it would be for us to do the same?
Then notice that Jesus went on to say, “for they love to pray…” So, apparently hypocrites “love to pray.” This goes back to the point I made last week, when I said that just because someone spends time in prayer does not mean they are spiritual or know God. Jesus said here that even the most hypocritical believers love to pray. And Jesus goes on to say why they love to do it: it is because they love the praise of men. This goes back to what I said earlier when we always need to make sure we have no ulterior motives for praying.
You see, the flesh just loves to pray these beautifully orated prayers when people are listening. It just loves to tell people things like how we spent hours in prayer and that if they have seen a breakthrough that we were praying for them. Pride is subtle thing. It desires the praise and glory of man.
Notice that Jesus said— “For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets …” So, these hypocrites loved to stand while they prayed.
Now first of all, I would like to preface this by saying that Jesus was not condemning people who stand while they pray. He was condemning those that did it “to be seen of men.” It is not wrong to stand while praying, but what is wrong is when one does it to attract attention to themselves. But there are other things to look out for when it comes to our posture in prayer.
As we’ve seen, prayer is simply communicating with God and is not a specific position or posture. Sometimes it is appropriate to bow our knees in reverence or close our eyes to focus, but we are not to get religious about it and say that we have to do these things every time. When we bow our knees, we are demonstrating our inward reverence and respect for our Father God. But just because we bow our knees does not mean that we are reverencing God in our hearts. It could just be a religious practice or something we do out of tradition. But I believe it is safe to say that if we never get on our knees and/or face before the Lord that we don’t truly see Him for who He really is (assuming we physically are able to do so). A proud person will not want to lie prostrate before the Lord, therefore, it takes humility to bow our knees and to lie on our face before the Lord.
But Jesus said that they also loved to stand “on the corners of the streets.” This describes the places where the most people would be. Therefore, it can apply to where the most people can hear them. Then the problem can be that when we are in front of others and in the spotlight, we can have a tendency to “perform.” And a lot of people look for this spotlight thinking— “Where can I pray so that the most people can hear me? or “What can I pray so that the more people would be impressed by me?”
And the entire problem with this (as Jesus goes on to say) is that they do it so “that they may be seen by men.” Again, this performance-based mentality is what is in view here. Jesus is not condemning any particular posture or any particular place of prayer. He is, however, condemning the motive behind many of these things.
I would also like to add that people not only pray “to be seen by men” but they also pray “to be heard by men.” One form of this is called “over the shoulder” prayers. This is prayer that is talking to other people over God’s shoulder. In other words, they act like they are talking to God, but are really saying what they are saying for the benefit of others in the room. For example, a pastor might pray— “God, thank you for all of those who showed up on time today”—while his underlying motive is to heap conviction on people who were late. In other words, He wasn’t really saying that for God’s benefit; he was saying it for the tardy one’s benefit. How about this example? Someone who comes to a prayer meeting and has a bill that needs to be paid, prays, “Father, you know about my need—my light bill of $159.99. I ask you to meet this need—my power bill in the amount of $159.99. Thank You, Lord, for being my provider—of my Georgia Power Company bill of $159.99.” Now we laugh when we hear that—but you understand that people do things like this. Let it not be so with us. Amen?
And here is the problem: As Jesus went on to say, “Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.”
You see, when our motives are wrong, then all those things we are looking for from others to receive will be the only rewards for our prayers, not the answers we desire. On the other hand, if our motives are pure and sincere, then we can expect our reward to be the answers to our prayers. But one has to make the decision: Do they want the answers to their prayers or the praises of people?
THE PRAYER CLOSET
Then in Matthew 6:6, Jesus went on to say, “But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”
Now, after telling us how not to pray, He begins with the two words “But you, when you pray…” By using the words “But you…”, this is Jesus telling us how we need to pray in order to avoid these bad motives of the hypocrites. Then we see that He says, “when you pray.” Again, showing us that prayer in a Christian’s life is assumed and expected.
Jesus then goes on to tell us to go into our “room.” The original King James version uses the word “closet.” Now many have taken this verse literally to say that we need to clean out our shoes and clothes so that we can pray in our literal closet. Although this is an admirable attempt to fulfill Jesus’ instructions here, it is not what He meant. This word that used for “room,” the Greek word tameion, does not describe a closet, but rather a “bedchamber.” (And, of course, this does not mean that we have to go to our bedroom every time we are going to pray either.)
So, what is a “bedchamber?” A “bedchamber” is a place of privacy and intimacy in a relationship between a man and a woman. So, since prayer is literally the overflow of our fellowship & relationship with God, we must see the importance of having our own place of privacy and intimacy with Him. And just as things done in a bedroom are to remain private and personal between a husband and wife, likewise, our prayer life is to be a private and personal thing between us and God and not to be shared with others. Every relationship needs this special place. In fact, it is a good idea to have a “holy” room in your house that has been consecrated to your alone time with God—not that you only need to pray there, but it is a special place where you meet with God.
But, of course, Jesus was not advocating that every time we pray, we must go to our private place because that would nullify the rest of the Scriptures that tell us to pray all the time. We cannot get away every time we need to pray because we have places to go and people to see. First Timothy 2:8 says, “I desire therefore that men pray everywhere…” So, we can see that it is needful to have that private place, but the vast majority of prayer must be done while we are out in the world.
We can learn this from the greatest example of prayer that there ever was—Jesus! Throughout the four Gospels we can see how Jesus spent great amounts of time in prayer away from the people. In Mark 1:35 we are told— “Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.” In Luke 5:16, we see— “So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.” Matthew 14:23 says, “…He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray … He was alone there.” So, we can see from these examples that Jesus separated from other people in order to commune with God. He knew how to find that place of privacy and intimacy.
And then Jesus said something that is super important— “And when you have shut your door …” There are at least two possible meanings to this phrase: One is “and when you have made sure that you have cut off any signs of hidden ulterior motives.” You see, sometimes Christians will leave their “door” (i.e. connection to people) open so that others can hear or see them praying. This is what the hypocrites of Jesus’ day did. They left their “door” open so that they could be seen of men. But the other possible meaning is “and when you cut off any possible distractions or interruptions.” This is very important to understand in regard to your alone time with God. When you commit to separate yourself with God the enemy will throw everything he can at you to distract you. The phone will ring, the baby will cry, the dog will start barking, etc. He will fight that alone time with God more than anything else. And he will not only do these external things, but he will also begin to war on your mind. Yes, during those times your mind will drift, and you will think of everything in the world that you could be doing outside of fellowshipping with God. You will think about decluttering your garage, calling your aunt that you have not talked to in forever, or how your bedroom needs to be repainted. Things that you normally would not think of will just miraculously come to mind in these private times with God. So, what we must do is “shut the door”—close off any outside distractions and interruptions! If you must turn your phone off, then do it! If you must turn the lights off and pray in the dark, then do it! Do whatever it takes to spend time with God and to stay focused on Him during that time.
So, after you and I go to our place of intimacy with the Lord and close the door, Jesus said, “pray to your Father who is in the secret place …” This phrase shows us that God dwells in that secret place of privacy. But this phrase “the secret place” carries with it a lot of awesome truth!
We learn from the 91st Psalm that the promise of divine protection and blessing is found by those who dwell in this secret place. Psalm 91:1 says, “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” You see, many claim the promises found in Psalm 91 as their own, but this first verse is the key qualifier for the rest of the promises contained in the Psalm.
Do you remember that passage of Scripture where Jesus said to His disciples- “the place that I go you cannot go…”? Well, while the common consensus was that He was talking about God’s presence in heaven, I believe Jesus was mainly talking about God’s presence here on the earth. In other words, He was talking about the secret place—that place of intimacy where no one could go with Him. Now they could certainly have that private place with the Lord—just them and Him. But they could not follow Him into His prayer closet because that was only reserved for Him and His Father alone.
So, we can see that the secret place is that spiritual place where the Father is. It is that place where just you and He go to spend time with one another. In other words, it is His manifest presence that you and I deliberately choose to enter into as we commune with Him. Amen!
We see this throughout the Psalms as well, where the Hebrew word translated “secret” in Psalm 91:1 is used. Let’s look at some of them:
So, we can clearly see here that the secret place is the secret place of His presence! On top of that, this verse says that this is the place where we are hidden in this secret place.
You see, this shows us that one of the primary keys to living the blessed, victorious and abundant life God has promised us, is to live in this “secret place” of fellowship with the Lord. We must learn how valuable that time in the “secret place” is! This is the time where we can take a dip into the manifest presence of God and, as Psalm 91 goes on to say, we will live an extremely blessed and prosperous life! The closer we get to God the more blessed we will be because God is a blessing!
But the point Jesus was making in Matthew 6:6 is similar to what He taught us in the Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector found in Luke chapter 18. In this Parable, Jesus told of these two individuals who went to pray before God, and He said that the Pharisee stood and prayed “thus with himself.” (See Luke 18:11).
You see, when we pray to be seen of men or with these impure motives, we are praying with ourselves and not with God. God dwells in the place of privacy and sincerity. He wants it to just be us and Him. He seeks such as these to worship Him in spirit and in truth.
Then finally, Jesus provides the promise to those who pray to the Father in the secret place at the end of Matthew 6:6--“And your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” When we pray and fast in a secret manner so that it stays between us and God and avoid the temptation to broadcast it to everyone, God says He will reward us openly. That means He will give us the answer to those prayers in a public way for others to see. God rewards humility and then He broadcasts it! Amen!
Let’s now look at Matthew 6:7 where Jesus went on to say, “And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.”
So, after the third and final time of saying, “And when you pray,” Jesus said for us not to “use vain repetitions as the heathen do.” The phrase “vain repetitions” literally means “to speak without thinking or to say meaningless and mechanically repeated phrases,” and this is certainly something that those who do not know God tend to do.
Now it is important to note that Jesus did not intend for us to think that any repetitive type of prayer was wrong, just the “vain” kind of “repetitions.” You see, it is not wrong to repeat your petitions because both Jesus and Paul did it (Matthew 26:36-36 & Second Corinthians 12:7-8). According to Jesus, a prayer becomes a “vain repetition” when the motivation is that someone thinks they will be heard for their many words. And while not many people think this is what they are doing, they are.
You see, it is easy to pray just a little longer and say more things because we believe if we word it just right or fill up more time, that God will answer our prayers. We can’t work our way to get God’s blessing. God only responds to our faith, not our works. You have heard of the phrase “praying through.” Some people have the mentality that if they pray long enough God will finally answer their prayer. This is not true! Praying through affects us, not God. If you could get to a place of faith where you believe God heard you the first time and loves you enough to provide, you can get the same results praying once. This is what Jesus was warning against—that underlying belief system that we will be heard because of what we say or how much we say it.
But “vain repetitions” range beyond just this—they are also the prayers where we are just babbling words that have no heart behind them. We must make sure that when we are praying that we are sincerely thinking about what we are saying. It is easy to let our mouth move, and at the same time, let our mind run down the street. When this happens, we can simply be using “vain repetitions” and our prayers will not avail much.
You see, many believers become so accustomed to their own phrases and prayers that they just come out of their mouth mechanically. All of us have one routine prayer in our system; and once we get rid of it, then we can really start praying.
For example, some Christians have a routine prayer for the blessing at dinner. They will repeat the same prayer over every meal that they pray for. This is a vain repetition! Praying over our meals is a sacred thing. It is supposed to be a time where we thank God for the food that we are about to eat and where we ask Him to make it fit to enter His temples. All of our prayers need to be full of our hearts and our minds. We must learn to commune with God a lot like we would with other people.
If I were talking to you, you would think I was crazy if every other word out of my mouth was your name, like “Robert, I ask you for … Robert, would you give it to me … Robert, I thank you for hearing me …” Others automatically transform into Elizabethan English when they pray, saying their “thou’s, thee’s, etc.” Simply put, this is just praying religiously. It is not a sin, but we need to strive to go to new levels in our prayer lives. Prayer is simply communion with God and although we are to pay God more respect than we even do other people, we don’t need to be distant in our dialogue with Him. Simply put—if I talked to others like I talk to God, would they think I’m weird?
One of the Ten Commandments is that we are not to take the Lord’s name in vain. This does not only mean to say those bad phrases. It just simply means to speak the Lord’s name in an empty manner. A couple of examples would be saying, “Oh my God!” or “Good Lord Almighty.” Even saying these things is speaking the Lord’s name in an empty manner. A good rule of thumb to go by would be to evaluate whenever we are using the Lord’s name whether we are talking to God or about God. Some believers use the name of Jesus very loosely in their prayer times. We need to make sure we are never speaking His name emptily whether it be in a joking manner or in a religious manner.
Finally, in Matthew 6:8, Jesus says, “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.”
Jesus is saying here that God already knows what we are going to ask Him for, so why do we have to continually ask for something and pray these long drawn out prayers. I am convinced the reason why some people pray these long drawn out prayers is because that is the only time they pray, and they feel like they have to go through certain things to get God’s favor. We will be more confident to make these short requests if we are praying continuously because we know God’s been on the line all day. It is like, if I never talked to my rich aunt, but I need something from her, would I be confident enough to call her up and get right to the request? No, I would feel obligated to go through the formalities of small talk until, 30 minutes later, I could ask her for what I needed. On the other hand, if I talked to her every day, I would feel more confident in calling her up when I needed something and getting straight to the point. My point is—having a constant and continual prayer life breed’s confidence.
This is why I say that the vast majority of our prayer time should be fellowship, praise, and worship! A very minimal amount of prayer should be asking God for our needs to be met. We should be spending more time asking for others needs to be met—first spiritually, then naturally! But with so many, prayer time is enveloped with our own needs and our own desires. If we would just seek first the kingdom of God through seeking first the King (i.e. fellowship, praise, and worship) and His servants (i.e. interceding, etc.) then we would not have to worry about our own kingdom because it will be taken care of.
Now, in conclusion, a question I have always had is—If God already knows what we have need of before we ask Him, then why do we even have to ask? Why doesn’t He just do it? This is a good question, and one that we need to understand in our charismatic circles …
You see, in our modern day charismatic, word of faith and grace circles, I believe we have taken certain truths (that are indeed truths) and developed unscriptural doctrines out of them. Let me explain …
Within the past few decades, we have increased in our understanding that we are not waiting on God to do anything. We have come to find out that He has already done everything He is going to do through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. And while these are truths that need to be understood, we have somehow minimized the importance of prayers and supplications at the same time. We have not learned to balance the asking part with the believing part.
In most of the radical teachings that have come out concerning faith and grace, it is implied that asking is unbelief because you are somehow not believing He has already done it. But if that were true, then that would nullify countless Scriptures in the New Testament that specifically tell us to ask. Let me give you just a few of them …
Now that is quite a few New Testament Scriptures concerning asking, isn’t it?
But it’s important to understand that the Greek word used for “ask” has several different derivatives in its definition such as “to beg, request, plead, desire, crave, and demand.” So, you can see from this definition that asking can mean anything from “begging” to “demanding.”
Now biblical asking is not in any way “begging or pleading.” We are told to ask in faith, which is being firmly convinced that what you are asking for is God’s will and/or that He loves you enough to give you the desires of your heart. To “beg” God is a totally unscriptural and ineffective way of asking.
On the other hand, when we ask we are not to get in the other ditch and start demanding things from God like we are bossing Him around. Some have gotten over into this and are void of honor and respect for their God. While it is Scriptural and necessary to remind God of what He has said (not that He has forgotten, but because it is good for us), we are not to do it in a disrespectful manner.
So what is the balance? We are to ask in faith—understanding the will and heart of our Heavenly Father, but we are also to ask in a humble and respectful way because He is our God as well as our Father.
With all of this said, the basic meaning of this Greek word for “ask” is what you normally think of when you think of “asking.” As a matter of fact, if you look up every time this Greek word is used in the New Testament, you will find that in instances in the Gospels and the Book of Acts it just simply meant to make a request. I say all of this lest we try and over-think what this word “really” means in order to back up our pet doctrines. It means what you would think it means.
So, since we have a scriptural precedence for “asking” under the New Testament, we need to ask ourselves some questions: When is it appropriate to ask? What are we supposed to ask for? How do we ask for it?
So, let’s start by answering the question that we started out this teaching with: Why do we have to ask? The reason why we need to ask even though God already knows what we have need of before we ask is because it is a matter of legalities. Let me briefly explain …
God created this world and then delegated His authority to the first man, Adam. Psalms states that the heavens are the Lord’s, but the earth has He given to the sons of men. Adam, through willful disobedience, handed over that authority to the enemy, but Jesus came to win back that authority for all of those who are in Him. So, God, through Jesus Christ, has freely given to the church His authority. And since He has given us the dominion on the earth, it is up to us to see His will come to pass on the earth. He has set it up so that if His will is going to come to pass it will have to come to pass through human beings. Therefore, things come to pass that are His will when physical human beings exercise their right to ask, demand, and command. This is why we must ask for things. It’s because God has put us in the driver’s seat. Tell me He’s not a faith God😊
In Matthew 18:18, Jesus told us that whatever we bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever we loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. And if you look at the following verse, prayer is the understood subject.
So, from this we can see the authority that has been freely given to us by God on this earth. Whatever is bound on earth is what will be bound in heaven. Whatever we loose on earth is what will be loosed in heaven. Notice that in both cases it starts on earth and then heaven follows. This is how God has set it up! He has given us the authority on the earth and so whatever we bind and loose through prayer is what will be bound and loosed in heaven.
You see, when Jesus said, “Knock and it shall be opened to you” He was showing us this same principle: We have to knock in order for the doors to be opened. Why doesn’t God just open doors on His own? Why do we have to knock first? It is because of this structure of authority God has set up on the earth …
A good question is then—Why would He have set things up this way? I believe one of the main reasons is because it is simply His nature to do this.
You see, God is the epitome of a gentleman. This is demonstrated the best in the fact that He has given us the free will that He has. God is not one to intrude and make anybody do anything they don’t want to do. Therefore, He wants us to invite Him into our lives. He wants us to invite Him to do what He already desires to do for us. You see, God’s greatest desire is to be desired. And one of the greatest ways that we invite Him is through simply asking (or you could say petitioning Him).
So, today we’ve seen several things that we need to understand “when we pray.”
These are just a few of the things we need to know “when we pray.” Prayer is not us standing in the synagogues (i.e. church) and in other places where people can see us. God is the One we are praying to, not them. So, we go to that “secret place” and pray to Him who is unseen. Prayer is not us using a bunch of words. It is us using that K.I.S.S. principle—keep it simple saint--for when we make it simple and simply have communion with Him, receiving from Him becomes simple as well. Amen.