10 For this is what the LORD says: “When 70 years for Babylon are complete, I will attend to you and will confirm My promise concerning you to restore you to this place.
Do You Know The Plans HE Has For You?
There are two reasons this popped into my head today, what I’m about to share. One is the passing of Davy Jones and the other is Holy Spirit led. How can the two go together? Wait and see, I mean read.
Hope it’s a beautiful day your neighborhood today. Something that helps that along is that verse from Jeremiah that many of us can quote like some know a commercial jingle. Part of that jingle though, is that you can sing the song about the product while failing to really understand what the product is that is being sold, or sung about. For instance many take off running with the verse above believing that everything and anything can be theirs for the asking. Name it and claim it! Really? I remember a time when Eve wanted a certain something, and along came a certain someone and tricked her. All he had to do was get up in her head and allow her to think that what she wanted was best for her. “Yea hath GOD said?”
Understanding What Is Being Offered To Us
When I was young, very young, like preschool or kindergarten age, I remember this day quite well. I remember it, not because of what I did, but because of the way memory still retains how my mother responded to my actions. I’m sure it was like any other Sunday for our family. We all got dressed and ready; and to some of your amazement, we did this in a one bathroom home. Now, I don’t know how many bathrooms you have, but I watch those shows like House Hunters, or My First Home, Property Virgins, etc. Everyone seems to share this idea that they need-need-need x-amount of bathrooms. Really? Let me tell you, it might have taken some organizing, but we had a three bedroom home with my grandmother living with us, and there were my parents (2), and all seven of us children still in the house. Some how; and you might be thinking “GOD only knows how.”, we managed. On this particular Sunday, what I am about to share has nothing to do with any of that, but I thought you should know that info because so often we think we need-need-need, when in fact we don’t. We often don’t want to admit it, but it’s want-want-want. Which is a part of what I’m about to share today, but not just yet. I have this little tale down memory lane to take with you.
So any-who… we are in church, like a normal Sunday. Now I was raised with beer drinking *what I now know to be alcoholic parents* and buying beer, even me purchasing it for them at the corner tavern, as long as I headed straight home with the item, and mom had called them to tell them I was coming to purchase it because she couldn’t leave the house just now. The same went for cigarettes, all any of us needed was a note from our parents and at the ripe old age of say, eight, we bought beer and cigarettes. What a thing huh? It was a different season in life for sure. I share all that to set the stage for my performance at about age ten. Oh yes, this was not a practiced performance, it wasn’t one where my mother ever wanted for the curtain to go up on, and for me to perform either. Thus the precious memory stored in my wee little old minds eye filing cabinet in the brain. You see we watched television in our home, my parents drank; as did most of the people at church. For goodness and graciousness sake we had church picnics with kegs of beer flowing like some of those chocolate fountains. This is why to this very day I still don’t get the shock on my parents face, especially my mothers, nor do I get how those in the pew were so stunned at my performance, they stopped singing, and some, they laughed.
What did I do to cause all this commotion? Well, back in the day there was a commercial that aired on television. It was the Schlitz Beer commercial. Light bulb coming on for any of you older folks just yet? Well, if it is, wait and hold onto the switch. You see I also, though raised in a home where people drank and smoked, one thing my parents didn’t do, and I actually have no memory of them doing, was swear. We grew up in a home with Alfred Hitchcock movies, drinking, smoking, but no Monkey’s or swearing. Yes, the Monkey’s, Beatles, etc. Elvis was only allowed because my older brother brought him into the house via reels of music. Yes, I said reels. If you don’t have a clue what those were, search it up. You’ll see how far we’ve come… or have we? That’s still up for debate.
I realize that for some of you it would be best to reveal the commercial that inspired my debut performance that Sunday. Listen and view here below by clicking on the link. Don’t forget to come back here for the reveal though =)
Alright you now have a much clearer picture me sitting sandwiched between my parents in the pew, and what was in my head, came out my mouth. Wrong song, wrong words, wrong. We are all getting ready to sing a closing hymn as we all rise. All I remember in my head, even now, hearing is we all will sing. So what comes rolling off my tongue and out of my mouth? What on earth possesses me to sing at the top of my lungs? The one song I know. The one song that has graced our home many a night on television or during some baseball games. Yes, the Schlitz Beer song. Only… wait for it… only I don’t say Schlitz. Yep, you guessed it. This non-swearing raised child slipped on the lip and said a cuss word. Holy jimmy, I was in such trouble. You know how I knew? My moms face. While some were laughing in church, one person was surely not, my mother! My dad let me know later that he understood how it could happen, being I was so excited that I knew a song and wanted to share that I knew all the words. My mother however, no way! I was going to pay big. The price I paid. I believe I received that cold shoulder silent treatment for at least the entire day. It was Monday morning when she finally mouthed words, “Good morning Jean.” Yes, music to my ears. =) Actually, not so much. You see I could tell she still was upset. How did I know this? My mother only called me “Jean” when she was upset with me. “Jeannie” was left at the doorstep of the church to be… forgiven.
I share all that to say that it’s often, when we pray, we act just like that verse from Jeremiah, only we misunderstand the meaning. We take the verse and make it something it is not. We take the important gift of prayer and turn it into some magical personal gift we keep re-gifting to ourselves.
We miss the tune, the words and their meaning completely. We write pretty little sayings and quotes out and Pinterest them. We make it all so fluffy and well tuned and received, but the Truth is missing between the lines of our so called pretty little hearts.
The Truth? The truth is prayer is much to important a gift from *GOD* to be handled carelessly. To be misunderstood as if it’s a way to a means. That is a way to get, get, get. Prayer is not that at all. When we pray, it’s important that we understand just why we’ve been given this ability to pray. Understand just how fragile a gift it is. As well as understand fully what praying means.
Today you might think that a ten year old would know the difference and you are in awe that a ten year old would accidentally sing out such a song. This is because you’re understanding of a ten year old today, is based on the ten year old of today. The ten year old of yesteryear was more child like. Was in fact, for the most part, an innocent. What has filtered into me that beautiful singing Sunday morn has quadrupled and is now plummeted at children at a rate of who knows what. This is why your understanding of what I’ve shared is limited to what you view today.
So it is with many who pray. They pray because they learned how to pray from some sort of religious education. Some one told someone that praying is repetition. Praying is repeating say, what we refer to today as “The Lord’s Prayer or The Our Father”. When in fact we are taking our cues from an earthly source, rather than that of the Source, Jesus Christ. The truth of the Truth is that there is indeed a generation that knows not what prayer is, or how to pray.
I was very, very blessed to be on the receiving side of a very good, new believer pastor/teacher when I first got saved. I learned at a very early saving age that one thing you must have when you pray and that is: H.E.A.R.T.
It’s a transplanted heart that forfeits your will for your Father’s. It’s something you actually do before you begin to pray because the first thing you are bringing before *GOD* is you.
Pray for receptive HEARTS (see Luke 8:5,12).
Pray for their spiritual EYES to be open (see Matt. 13:15; 2 Cor. 4:3-4).
Pray for God’s ATTITUDE toward sin (see John 16:8).
Pray the person to be RELEASED to believe (see 2 Cor.10:3-4; 2 Tim. 2:25-26).
Pray for a TRANSFORMING life (see Rom. 12:1-2).
How To Pray
When a lot of people read this, or are taught this, they go into repetitive mode. Now I’m not saying there is anything wrong with reciting this passage, but repeatedly doing so, isn’t like some magic chant. Even the unsaved can do that. Chant, I mean. Scripture is clear that we are not to do repetitive prayer. We are to pray what is in our heart, or allow the Holy Spirit to pray for us, when we just can’t find the words.
This passage from Matthew 6 was given to us by Jesus as an example! Yes, an example of “how to” pray. Never anywhere did he say, continually say this.
We also need to remember one other major factor in prayer. The only way to the Father is through the Son. We need only pray to *GOD* the Father, through His Son, Jesus Christ. Yep, that’s all. There is no other access and nobody else we pray to. I think that’s pretty clear in Scripture. Again, I’m so happy I was raised up by several Biblical pastor/teachers, to whom I am very grateful.
Pray with Simplicity
5“And when you come before God, don’t turn that into a theatrical production either. All these people making a regular show out of their prayers, hoping for stardom! Do you think God sits in a box seat?
6“Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.
7-13“The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this:
Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
Set the world right;
Do what’s best— as above, so below.
Keep us alive with three square meals.
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You’re in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You’re ablaze in beauty!
Yes. Yes. Yes.
14-15“In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can’t get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God’s part.
16-18“When you practice some appetite-denying discipline to better concentrate on God, don’t make a production out of it. It might turn you into a small-time celebrity but it won’t make you a saint. If you ‘go into training’ inwardly, act normal outwardly. Shampoo and comb your hair, brush your teeth, wash your face. God doesn’t require attention-getting devices. He won’t overlook what you are doing; he’ll reward you well.
My Personal Outline for Prayer:
Matthew 6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. (10) Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. (11) Give us this day our daily bread. (12) And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. (13) And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Our Father which art in Heaven – Jesus tells us to pray to the heavenly Father, This is the first person in the trinity
Hallowed be thy name – Hallowed means sacred, Holy, sanctified, blessed, and consecrated. The prayer starts off by giving God the Father honor and glory. You will find that whenever any holy figure speaks of God they always start off with giving God his place and honor and glory. We should do the same thing when we start a conversation with God.
Give us this day our daily bread – Here we are asking for provision for today, not tomorrow or next week
And forgive us our debts – we should ask for our sins to be forgiven. Matthew 6:14 for if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
As we forgive our debtors – we need to forgive our fellow man, this is a requirement in order to be forgiven ourselves. Matthew 6:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. And Mark 11:25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
And lead us not into temptation, – We should ask that we be not tempted by outside influences.
But deliver us from evil: – By God’s power, we need to ask for protection and relief from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, – Again we find at the end of this prayer God the Father is given honor and praise
Forever. – For all time, God always was, and still is and always will be.
Amen. – Ending of the prayer
~The Important Thing To Take With You~
Prayer is never about you getting what you want. Prayer is allowing yourself to receive and accept His will. Yes, we do pray for this or that, or healing, but if we are not willing to first know that whatever He deems best, is best for all, we have forfeited His will.
You know sometimes we get exactly what we ask for. If as children we learn early on when we play a game of “fish” and we shout out, “Got what I asked for.” It doesn’t necessarily mean you won, it just means you got something you asked for. It’s good in the game of fish to get what you ask for. In life, when we pray, it’s better to get what *GOD* wants for us to have. To ask for His will, nothing less.
Until all have heard of, and know His Love,