Friday, February 10, 2017

The Book of Matthew: Morning Moments with God, Day 20

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 Day 20: Pray in Secret

Please take time to read the Bible verses for today.
Matthew 6: 5-15

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.  "But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." 

I was raised Catholic and we so didn't pray out loud, but we did go to church every Sunday. My family would arrive early for service, march in, all eight of us, and my father would take the second, if not the first pew. We were seen. We didn't pray out loud. We didn't make a scene. But we were there in the same spot every week. I cannot judge the motive of my father's heart, but I dare say, if we every missed a mass, people would ask us the next week where we were. I do believe my father loved God, but I will also say there was some hypocrisy going on. 

For all the times I sat in mass, for all the years I listened to homilies, I can remember only one time where I felt the Lord tug at my heart. We were singing, "Be Not Afraid." I listened to the words and felt like God was really talking to me. 

I love church now, (as a born-again, Spirit-filled, believer) and I love the Body of Christ, but there is something very perfect about being alone with God in my own room. "But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen." I love the stillness. I love reading the Bible and hearing Him speak to me. I love the little 'tap on the shoulder' reminder of past hurt or sin that the Lord wants me to deal with. I am in a safe place and He can bring the healing I need. 

7 "And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him." I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, "for your Father knows what you need before you ask him." God knows us, and our heart, and all the worries in our mind. He doesn't need a complicated prayer, just a prayer from your heart. God doesn't want to put any obstacles in our way for us to run to Him. Keep your prayers simple.

"The Our Father" prayer is a part of today's reading. 

 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,               (A declaration that you believe)
hallowed be your name,              (Holy is your name)

your kingdom come,                   (Spiritual Warfare)

your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
 Give us today our daily bread.     (Give us what we need for today)
 And forgive us our debts,            (Forgive us)
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.  (I forgive others)
 And lead us not into temptation,     (Help me to stand against the 
    but deliver us from the evil one."          evil one)

14 "For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins."

After teaching them how to pray, the only part that He emphasizes, is the "forgive others" part. We must forgive others- we must. We must love our enemies- we must. I can't say to all the reasons why, but know that Jesus forgives you and He needs us to forgive those who have hurt or offended us. 

Pray with me:
Jesus, thank you for making a way for us to come to without works, without performances. Thank you that you accept our simple prayers. I pray for my day. I pray that I will forgive others right away and not hold onto grudges. Help me Lord to love as you love. In Jesus' name. Amen.

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