God is honored by a request for something only He can perform. Martin Luther said, “The Lord is great and high, and therefore He wants great things to be sought from Him and is willing to bestow them so that His almighty power might be shown forth.” As a father, I derive great pleasure from the various conversations I engage in with my seventeen year-old daughter and fifteen year-old son. It would prove terribly disturbing, however, if their conversation with me had not matured beyond that of a typical toddler, or if their talk did not reflect an increasingly greater understanding of the nature of our relationship. It is within a similar context that we must answer the question: Is prayer “simply talking to God?” Yes—if what is implied is a filial freedom to draw near to God in full assurance of faith, owing entirely to the redemptive accomplishments of Jesus Christ. No—if the substance of our conversation with God is allowed to remain stunted in self-serving immaturity. Prayer is talk that honors God,
Lord God, so often the prayers that spring from my lips are just words that I have crafted to sound holy rather than to have a heartfelt conversation with You. Help me to speak to You as a child to its earthly father, always delighting in Your Presence and ready to listen to Your voice. May everything that comes from my mouth bring You honor as I continue to grow towards full maturity in Christ.
–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Chapter 16, Characteristics of God-Honoring Prayer by Arturo G. Azurdia, III). This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
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Praise God as the one who sets up leaders and deposes them (Dan. 2:21). Give thanks for your own opportunities to lead others. Confess any negligence or cowardice in leadership. Commit yourself to being a leader of integrity wherever God gives you influence. Ask God to grant you wisdom as you influence your children, friends, employees, and others.
Pray for “all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (1 Tim. 2:2). Pray that leaders who uphold God’s principles will be brought to power throughout the world so that the gospel will be unhindered.
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