|Posted on October 7, 2010 at 12:32 PM|
"And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like the 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." Matthew 6:7-8 (NIV)
Have you ever wondered what causes people to feel spiritually frustrated? Well, The two top reasons seem to be Bible study and prayer. Have you ever sat in church sweating because everyone else knew instantly how to get to every passage in the Bible the preacher referenced, But you weren’t even sure the book he mentioned is even in your Bible?And when you looked around, others seemed all wrapped up and excited in what this preacher man had to say. They'd shout loud, "Un-hunh's" and "Amens!" and you thought, “What was I missing?”
And then there was your prayer life. Or the lack there-of. It's not that you didn't want to pray but the whole concept of talking to God felt weird. Maybe you tried to copy the prayers of those who seemed like they knew they were doing more than talking to the air. But then you’d feel foolish for what you just said to the God of the Universe. "Dear Lord, take this food to the nourishment of my body. (Good so far.) And if you could change the molecular structure of these cheesy fries to be like carrot sticks that sure would be bomb-diggity." (Hunh?) You would never have said that!!!
Well, like the saying goes, "We've come a long way baby." Except that I'm pretty sure we all still trip up in finding certain passages in the Bible. And I'm pretty sure you might still hear someone (maybe even yourself) say bomb-diggity in their prayers. But according to what Jesus taught in Matthew 6:7, I think He's okay with that.
"And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like the 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 me, sincerity and simplicity are two keys to unlocking spiritual frustration with both your Bible study and your prayers. Why do we make it all so complicated? In Colossians 4:2 we are instructed to, "Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful" (NIV). I am challenged by these words today. Do I get up from reading my Bible and praying and start intentionally watching for God? Do I sense His activity and remember to be thankful? Watchful and thankful are great words to ponder when we start trying to overcomplicate my time with Jesus.
I think a few honest moments spent with God reading His Word, sharing our heart, and listening for His instruction are quite perfect. I might even say they are bomb-diggity.