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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

November 14, 2023

The Bible Edge

Thank You Lord

Matthew 6:7

But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

Thanks be to God for the privilege of prayer. Think about it. Speaking directly to the God of the Universe. No matter how hard we try, the average person would never be able to speak directly to the President of our country any time they wanted, nor the governor of our state, and probably not our senators or elected representatives. Your doctors? Try getting them on the phone. Sometimes there are even difficulties in talking to our employers, spouses, parents, or children when we want. But with Almighty God. He invites us to communicate with Him anytime.

He probably wants us to communicate with Him in prayer more than we want to communicate with Him in prayer. After all, I Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to Pray without ceasing. The macro interpretation of this verse would be to pray throughout life, year in year out. The micro interpretation would be to pray every moment of the day, all day long, every day. Reality though is somewhere in between, but make no doubt, the invitation to pray is to open, whenever we want, need, or desire to pray He is ready to hear our prayers.

In today’s verse the Lord Jesus said …when ye pray… then He sets some guidelines and an outline (which is commonly called the Lord’s Prayer). When we think about prayer there are at least three thoughts to keep in mind.

First, since the Lord already knows what we need (see Matthew 6:8), why pray? By praying we ask and the Lord answers. Now, since He knows what we need, He may do that which we ask without us asking, but in that case we would not know that He did so. Let’s say someone knows they will have a very trying day at work, so they pray for calmness and patience. On that day the Lord gives them uncommon calmness and patience. They then can rejoice in knowing He has heard their prayers and helped them. Now, the Lord may very well give one of His children a calm spirit, and patience without them asking for it, but they will not know it, for they were not looking for it.

Second, as someone once said, “Every failure is a prayer failure.” For the child of God, through prayer the Lord can give them direction, lead them in the path they should go, and perhaps even lead them to not get involved in an endeavor in the first place. He knows what source of action will succeed and which will fail. By not praying, or improperly praying we may not know that He says no.

Third, consider this thought, “Prayer is to the Christian that which capital is to the investor.”

With these in mind, thank God for the privilege and power of prayer.

William T. Howe, Ph.D.

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