Measuring Spirituality By Public Prayers
Very uncomfortable when I first started reading this. However, the message became more clear as I went through the lesson. So hang in there as we go through this thing.
By listening to a person’s prayer, you should be able to assess where they are at spiritually.
Sometimes, people are afraid to pray in front of others.
We all need to realize our prayers aren’t meant for our friends, fellow church members, or others. Our prayers our meant for our heavenly Father. We will get more into this as we go.
Bible prayers are the best examples of a “prayer map.”
They are bold.
They are respectul
They are intimate
They are deeply reverent.
Prayers would start out with his spirit facedown, but by the time he got to the end when he was petitioning for others, there was now a boldness before the throne of God.
We need to make sure in our familiarity with God and the gift of prayer we have that we don’t lose the awe for God and who He is.
Referencing back to an earlier statement, we need to realize who we are offering our prayers too, but we do need to be aware people are listening.
If we go to God in a child-like voice, we are not portraying the confidence we need to have when we approach God. We are not showing the relationship we should have with Him.
He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
In this parable, we get a description of two men who are praying to God.
He prayed to self or for people to hear his prayer, no one else.
He compared himself to others and thought he was better than them.
He was prideful
He boasted of works he had done.
He had a lot of knowledge of the Scripture, but had never put it into practice.
I think this is one of the fatal flaws of the church today.
He asked nothing for anyone but himself.
The tax collector
He prayed to God.
He was full of thankfulness for what God had done for him.
He compared himself to God and realized his unworthiness.
He was humble.
He displayed faith in the power of the prayer he was offering.
He asked for mercy from God.
The Pharisee’s prayer was all “I” centered.
The tax collector’s prayer was all “God” centered.
This is what God wants from us. A prayer that shows our hearts are sensitive to sin and totally dependent on the grace of God.
If we pray this way privately, it will develop into out public prayers.