Should you make the same prayer requests every day? What did Jesus teach?
Hi, welcome to today’s Little Lesson. Thank you so much for joining me. If you’re a regular viewer you know we’re working our way through Jesus’s most famous sermon, and many consider his most important sermon, the Sermon on The Mount, found in Matthew Chapter 5, 6 and 7. And we’re just at the beginning of Matthew Chapter 6, where Jesus is really getting into the heart of the matter of heart holiness.
And, when you think about it that’s really where holiness begins, if it doesn’t begin within our hearts. If we haven’t got our motives and our inward, inner most desires on the right path then any attempts at trying to be holy are- to do what God wants you to do are really … it’s going to be in vain. Because true holiness stems from the heart and God wants us to do what we do because we love Him and because we’re motivated by love.
It just seems so many in the church are focused on getting folks to outwardly conform to various rules and if they’re conforming then you know, we’ve done our job. But, I read something that Paul said in writing to Timothy, in the very first chapter of 1st Timothy Chapter 5, Paul said, “The goal of our instruction,” here’s the reason we’re teaching, here’s what we want, “The goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart.”
That’s what we’re trying to produce in people. We want them to be loving people and that’s stemming out of a pure heart not just to show, not just to put on, not just some religion practices. Love from a pure heart and a good conscience, see that’s an inward thing. Just like the pure heart. A good conscience and a sincere faith. Boy, what … so much truth packed into that one verse. That it’s worth our time to meditate upon that a little while, 1st Timothy, Chapter 1 verse number 5.
And that’s what Jesus was after, you know, he doesn’t want holy robots. He doesn’t want people pretending that they’re something they are not and so in three cases here in Chapter 6 of Matthew he talks about doing certain things you out to be doing but doing them secretly so that you can be certain your motives are right. That you’re not doing it to be seen by men. Namely, giving to the poor, secondly praying, and thirdly fasting.
These are things at all disciples of Christ out to be doing, you know, and, sadly those things are so low on many Christian totem poles and in many Christian churches.
We’re not focusing on the hard things, but the heart right then everything else just naturally falls in line because if your heart is right, and you love God and you love people, well then what you’re gonna do, it’s going to be right as well, if you make mistakes your heart can be right. And you can be wrong in your head and right in your heart.
Anyways, the question of today’s Little Lesson is, should I make the same, repeat the same requests because I’m hoping that you’re praying and I’m hoping that you realize that it’s a discipline, it doesn’t just happen. You have to make time for it. Usually the best time is in the morning, we’re about to read an example prayer that Jesus gave in the Sermon on The Mount we call the Lord’s Prayer and one of the requests is, “Give us this day, our daily bread.”
Well that sounds kind of like a morning prayer before you’ve eaten right? So, I think there’s a little hint there that if you’re going to pray, once a day, well shoot for the mornings. And when you get about as old as me you don’t have as much trouble getting up in the morning, you wake up actually earlier than you want to.
All right, so, should you pray the same request every day? Well, there’s a debate on that subject but we find some evidence right here, we haven’t read it yet, we will read it, the very clause of the Lord’s Prayer, that we’ve already mentioned, “Give us this day, our daily bred.” Well that sounds like an every day prayer that you’re praying and I don’t have it all figure out, you know, but one thing that I’m convinced about in that prayer request is it helps us.
Reminding us of our dependency upon the Lord. And also remind us to not be greedy. To be satisfied and content if all we have is just enough for the day because God will supply us. He goes on to say in this section of the Sermon on The Mount, look at the birds in air, they’re not worried about tomorrow because the Heavenly Father takes care of them. Don’t worry, you’re of much more value.
And these are lessons I just think that we just continently need to be reminded. I do. I’ve been a Christian here for well over 40 years and I’m still needing to remind myself of these things. I don’t have it perfected here yet. But, Jesus did warn against some kind of repetitious prayer right before he gave them a prayer that at least part of it could be repeated every day. And we read today in Matthew Chapter 6 Verse number 7, “When you are praying do not use meaningless repetition as the gentiles do for they suppose they’ll be heard for their many words.” And we’re told in another place that the Lord knows what we need even before we ask him so it’s not like we’re telling him something that he’s not aware of.
Again, I don’t have it all figured out. The mystery of prayer. But, I do know this, the Lord wants a relationship where his children and fathers, I’m a father, I’m a grandfather, always loved it when my children talked to me and communicate to me and look to me.
And we have a relationship, communication is part of it and my grandchildren the same way. I get a big kick out of when they want to talk to me. It makes me feel so good. And similarly, they rarely tell me things I don’t already know. And sometimes they tell me crazy things that are not true and but just interacting with them is so very precious and I just think we need to think about that as we think about your Father.
Here it is, I said it’s another place, it’s right in the very next verse, don’t be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. So, when my grandkids talk to me, I’m not learning a whole lot I didn’t already know but if they ask, they’re much more likely to receive and if they don’t ask there’s less likelihood that we’re just going to outright give it to them.
When my grandson, just the other day come up to me, he’s a little tyke, he doesn’t talk much yet, he’s just got a couple of words. And, when he wants something to eat he goes ah, ah, ah, ah. That’s his way of saying, can I have what you’re drinking, or can I have have what you’re eating. Well, I wouldn’t be giving it to him if he’s asking me he’s hard to resist. Okay, because I love the little guy and I think our Father’s the same way. A lot of parallels there, a lot of parallels.
Okay, well all right. Thanks for joining me. Good to be with you. And hope to see you in the next Little Lesson. God bless.