Why is it that we tend to neglect the most important things in life? You know the story of doing the urgent and neglecting the important. This is a reality in business, home, relationships and when it comes to God. From a lady’s perspective, what is the most important and singular matter that makes a relationship work? That’s right … communication … and they are right! Money, outings and holidays, clothing and jewelry are all frivolous and meaningless when trying to build a relationship. These things are all temporal and the lady who falls for these “relationship tricks” will soon find they are in the “urgent” bracket to impress but are not in the “important” bracket that produces a relationship of substance. Communication helps the lady and gentleman to get to know each other, likes, dislikes, interests, feeling and desires about a huge variety of issues, how important family is, where to pitch the conversation intellectually … etc. Relationships that are meaningful and have substance are based upon communication. Let me give you an example. We have a lady who comes to work for us to do cleaning and ironing once a week. This week she tried to close the bathroom window and got the nob on the blind’s string between the window pane and the window’s locking device. The pane broke and she came to me apologizing and explaining what happened. It was an accident, but she communicated and our relationship remains intact.
The early Church understood the importance of communication. Please read:
Ac 2:42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Although we have dealt with them being devoted to the apostles teaching, the fellowship and the Lord’s Table (breaking bread) … The apostles teaching is communication. It is the one teaching God’s Word and the many receiving the Word proclaimed. The Fellowship is the faith that is built around the Gospel. Again this is communication. The Lord’s Table in itself is teaching the recipient and the onlookers. This is communication. Now we come to the most important aspect of communication …
(d) Devoted to Prayer. The basics of prayer is us communicating with our God. Everything about our relationship with God revolves around communication, from conversion, throughout our life on earth and into glory. Why is it that the number one of all relationships … God … relegated to “when we need Him”? That is as abusive as a husband who only speaks to his wife when he wants something. Much has been said, written and preached about prayer. As profound as what prayer is, prayer is not rocket science because prayer may be exercise anywhere and anytime. This means you don’t need to be in a certain place at a certain time, dressed in a certain way to pray! Prayer is for anywhere, anytime and any condition … wherever you are is good enough! God is not interested in the eternals. He is interested in the heart for from the heart you express yourself to God … you express that which is deep down in the soul. Another matter to remember is that God is not interested in eloquence! Too many get fancy in prayer and confuse themselves. God wants plain language … language that you understand. Language that does not confuse you. Language that when used you know what you have said to God. Let’s consider the things that would generate a “devotion” to prayer.
(1) Talking to God about our love for Him. When last have you expressed your love for God? When last have you really opened up and been vulnerable telling God how great He is and how thankful you are for Him choosing you before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless with the certainty that you will be transformed into the likeness of His Son, the Lord Jesus? Surely if you can be emotional expressing love for your husband or wife, you can do this with God who is by far the most important relationship you have. Love should lead to an expression of praise, adoration and worship which is a 24 hour a day exercise.
(2) Talking to God about what we read and hear from His Word.
1 Jn 5:14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.
Take that phrase … if we ask anything according to his will … His will is found in His Word. The most accurate prayers are those that are His Word being prayed back to Him. It might be asking for clarity or it may be reminding God of a promise in His Word. The Bible is largely a Book of edification and instruction. When we pray the Word to God, God the Spirit speaks the Truths of the passage prayed back to our hearts.
(3) Talking to God about our needs. Remember we have used the word “needs” and not “greeds”. There are so many needs, why would anyone need to ask for greeds to be met? Needs include relationships, health, finances, career, studies, accommodation and a host of the things that confront us on a daily basis. There is nothing to small or insignificant to mention to God. He would like to know our every need.
(4) Talking to God about our sin. There is no pardon without asking for it. Some seldom confess sin. Often Churches do not have prayers of confession … yet God says:
1 Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
There are so many things to discuss here, but perhaps you want to think through …
(5) Talking to God about our ministry and service.
(6) Talking to God about our family and friends.
(7) Talking to God about our Church.
(8) Talking to God about evangelism and missions.
(9) Talking to God about the leaders of our country.
The Church in general today does not pray because individual Christians and pastors do not pray! This is the reason I believe the Church is worldly and secular. Before Pentecost we read:
Ac 1:14 They all joined together constantly in prayer.
Then the Spirit came! Lord, teach us to pray in love and passion. Amen.