Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Daily Devotional - Learn from Jesus' Prayers

Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.
—Luke 23:34
I believe that the way people pray and the things they pray about reveal lot character and spiritual maturity. There was a time when my prayer life did not indicate much spiritual maturity. Even though I was a born-again, filled with the Holy Spirit and teaching God's Word, my prayers were pathetically carnal. When I prayed, I had a list of requests I thought God had to say yes to before I could be happy—and all of them were natural things: "Lord, make my ministry grow. Give us a new car; do this; do that. Make Dave change. Make the kids behave," and so on.
In response, God simply said to me, "I want you to examine the prayers of Jesus and the prayers of Paul. Then we'll talk about your prayer life." Of course, there are many prayers throughout the Bible, especially in Psalms, but God told me to pray the prayers of Jesus, which are found in the gospels and the prayers of Paul, which are found in the epistles.
When I began to pray the way Jesus prayed, I discovered that there really is no more powerful way to pray than to pray the Word of God because it shows us what is important to Him. He prayed prayers such as we read in today's verse and many others, including His prayer to, "Sanctify them [purify, consecrate, separate them for Yourself, make them holy] by the Truth; Your Word is Truth" ( John 17:17); His prayer for unity among his people (see John 17:23); and His prayer for Peter: "But I have prayed especially for you [Peter], that your [own] faith may not fail" (Luke 22:32).
I encourage you to read the gospels and see how Jesus prayed, then pray similarly as you talk and listen to God.

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