Lord, teach us to pray. – Luke 11:1.
We want to learn to pray. And God will teach us in His Word. Prayer is an act of worship performed by the children of God. When God’s children pray, they approach their heavenly Father, and speak to Him, talk with Him, bring their petitions before Him, and offer up praise and thanks to Him.
Prayer is offered both with our hearts and our lips. Prayer is the word of the “mouth” and the meditation of the “heart” (Psalm 19:14). To speak with the mouth only, while being unheedful of the words spoken, is babbling, and not prayer. God hears prayer. He hears even the faintest sigh of the heart. “Lord, Thou hast heard the desire of the humble; Thou wilt prepare their heart; Thou wilt cause Thine ear to hear” (Psalm 10:17). Indeed, what does God say? He says: “It shall come to pass that before they call, l will answer, and while they are yet speaking, I will hear” (Isaiah 65:24).
God hears and answers our prayers in advance. And never think, my dear Christian, that God desires you to make many words and to use a very fine language. The Savior says: “When ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do, for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them, for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of before ye ask Him” (Matthew 6:7-8).
We are God’s children, and we are merely little children, however old we may be. So let us speak to our Father just as little children do. The simpler, the more childlike we address Him, the better He likes it. Every Christian can pray, may he be ever so unlettered a person; and the learned must forget his learning when he prays, but ever remember his gracious God’s words and promises: “This is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us, and if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him” (I John 5:14-15).
PRAYER – Dear Heavenly Father, O great God, I thank Thee that through Jesus Christ I am Thy child, and dare pray to Thee, and tell Thee all, take all my complaints and my petitions to Thee in prayer. And Thou wilt most graciously hear me, being as kind to me as a father to his child. Dear Father in heaven, grant me a rich measure of Thy Holy Spirit, who works through Thy Word, that He may more and more open my lips and my heart, so that at all times I may come to Thee and pray to Thee, O great Fount of all grace. Amen.
Grant that Thy Spirit prompt my praises;
then shall my singing surely please Thine ear;
sweet are the sounds my heart then raises;
my prayer in truth and spirit Thou wilt hear.
Then shall Thy Spirit raise my heart to Thee,
to sing Thee psalms of praise in high degree.
(Hymn 21, st. 3 – TLH)