Morning Musing: Hebrews 13:18-19

“Pray for us, for we are convinced that we have a clear conscience, wanting to conduct ourselves honorably in everything. And I urge you all the more to pray that I may be restored to you very soon.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Why do we pray? What should we pray for? There is wisdom on this throughout the Scriptures. Here, we see a couple of things as specific examples. With only one more stop on our journey through Hebrews, this morning, let’s take a look at the author’s final prayer request and talk about prayer in our own lives.

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Digging in Deeper: Matthew 6:9-13

“Therefore, you should pray like this: Our Father in heaven, your name be honored as holy. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

This week we have been talking about prayer. As Jesus was teaching His disciples and the crowds about prayer, He started with what not to do. That’s what we covered over the last couple of days. We know that prayer is not a means of self-advancement. We also know that prayer should be simple and focused, not wordy or rooted in a false idea about God. As helpful as it is to know what not to do, though, knowing what to do is even better. So then, how do we pray? Fortunately, Jesus doesn’t leave us hanging there. He moves smoothly on to tell us how to do it. Let’s take a look at the Lord’s Prayer together today.

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Morning Musing: Matthew 6:7-8

“When you pray, don’t babble like the Gentiles, since they imagine they’ll be heard for their many words. Don’t be like them, because your Father knows the things you need before you ask him.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

This week we are talking about prayer. Specifically, we are looking at some of Jesus’ thoughts on prayer from the Sermon on the Mount. When He starts talking about prayer in the middle of His sermon, His first comments are focused on what not to do. After that He shifts gears to giving us an example to follow in our own praying. Yesterday we looked at the first example of what not to do. Specifically, we are not to use prayer as a means of self-advancement. Prayer is about building and developing our relationship with Jesus. Anything less and it won’t do us any good. This morning, let’s take a look at His second caution. If His first caution was focused on why we pray, this one focuses more on the how.

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Morning Musing: Matthew 6:5-6

“Whenever you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites, because they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by people. Truly I tell you, they have their reward. But when you pray, go into your private room, shut your door, and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

There are numerous books out there offering readers an intro on how to pray. I even read one simply called that: How to Pray. A quick Amazon search for “prayer books” turns up more results than you can click through. As you read through the Scriptures, there are lots of examples of prayer to study and emulate. Many of these books examine one or another of these prayers. The reason for all of this interest is pretty straightforward: We want to know how to pray. We want to know that our prayers are meaningful and have some reasonable chance of accomplishing their aim. We want to know that when we speak aloud in an empty room we’re not just talking to ourselves. Well, at the risk of doing little more than dripping a drop of water in an already flooded market, let’s take a second this morning and talk about prayer.

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Taking a Pause

As we continue in our new teaching series, A Fresh Start, we are examining yet another of the basic spiritual disciplines that all followers of Jesus need to be incorporating into their lives. This time it’s prayer. Like engaging with the Scriptures, prayer is basic. It is a foundation stone. It is one of those things we must get in place before we can do just about anything else. Let’s spend a few minutes thinking about why and how.

Taking a Pause

Have you ever been busy? Heh. How about, when was the last time you weren’t busy? Maybe the 13th of last Neveruary? We live in a busy world, don’t we? There’s always something to do. Even when there’s nothing to do, there’s still something to do. That’s the story of our household. Even when we don’t have any work to do, there’s still laundry to wash and laundry to fold and laundry to put away and bathrooms to clean and clothes to pick up and clutter to disperse and floors to vacuum and Nerf bullets…so…many…Nerf bullets to collect and Legos to build and the list goes on. Then there’s the list of things we actually want to do. It never stops. I don’t know about you, but some days I feel like the only real time I get to stop and breathe while I’m awake is when I’m in the shower. I’ll just about drain our hot water heater some days because that’s protected space. I can’t do anything for anybody else and I’m digitally disconnected which, for me, is even more important.

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