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Posts Tagged ‘hearts’

This study of Prayer will be focused around verses found in Matthew. They are Matthew 6:5-8, 14-15 (NIV):

“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 men. I tell you the truth, 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. 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… For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

In the first two verses, verses 5 and 6, Jesus is telling his disciples to do something in these verses. He’s telling them not to pray for attention so that others may see “what an amazing and committed, as well as good Christian you are.” No. Instead, he tells them to go to a quiet, private place. For men (and women!) who “brag” with loud prayers so all can see receive their reward there – their human flesh’s satisfaction of people paying attention to them. But for those who leave to go quietly to a place of peace, our unseen Father above rewards us, since we went to a place in secret. Prayer is personal and powerful, don’t ruin it by making yourself look higher than others, because then you’re just babbling.

Verses 7 and 8, it’s here Jesus tells us more – do not pray like pagans! They babble on to their gods, they pray but it’s meaningless. Why? Because they don’t truly believe. They think their gods hear them for the many “praise words” and “askings” they do. When in reality, it’s nothing. When we pray and speak many meaningless words, it makes the prayer lose its “base.” God knows what you need even before you need it. He cares for you. Prayer is a way to communicate  to your Father, talk to him just like you would to your father on earth – casually and straight forward.

Now, adding in a verse not mentioned above, is verse 9: “”This, then, is how you should pray:'” In this verse Jesus is now about so show us how to properly pray.

“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
 your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’”

Recognize it? It’s what people call “The Lord’s Prayer.” Though in reality, it should be called “The Disciples’ Prayer,” because of how it was meant for the disciples, Jesus already knew very well how to pray to his father. And also, see how casual it is? Now, we don’t use those lines every time, but we need to pray along those lines – down to “business” – in our own personal way.

In the last two verses, Jesus reflects on forgiveness, based on the twelfth verse: “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” If we forgive the people who do wrong against us, persecute, or tear us down, God too forgives us for our wrongs – because we recognized the wrong we’ve done to others. But if we stay stuck on the wrong done to us and don’t forgive, God won’t forgive either. For our hearts were in the wrong place, they were hard as stone with hate and other feelings.

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The rose in my heart,

you see represents the beauty and elegance of me.

The smooth green, pure, and spotless petals,

represent Christ’s work in me.

But the thorns that cause pain and hurt are the part me,

the part of me that’s fallen,

The me that’s the monster hidden deep inside.

In Hebrews 8:26-27 (NIV) it says,  “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.” 

God searches are hearts and cleans them in a way, searching for the good inside us that he knows exists, and without him it’s just about impossible to do anything. The Spirit itself even intercedes and helps us accomplish and in a way communicate to God.

In relation to the second part of the poem another verse in Hebrews 6:8 (NIV) says, “But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.”

Think of our heart as the land, if it produces thorns and thistles then what good is it? Out of the overflow of our hearts comes good or evil. So if our hearts are all gross and filled with sin instead of God, then we will most likely struggle with doing bad things verses good things. Which results normally in discipline, the thistles and thorns will be burned down to the ground. When the gross and icky stuff is burned and out of the way it leaves a place for good to grow. If our hearts are filled with good fruit, like ripe apples, pears, and peaches, to say, we will struggle with bad things, but with God’s help we can accomplish a bounty of “healthy” things!

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