Saturday, March 5, 2016

smaller prayers to a bigger Jesus

The Word for today:
Matthew 14:13-36
mark this: Matthew 14:30 --
"Lord, save me!"
Today, we hear the shortest prayer in the Bible.
Peter is walking on the water. When he looks around at the wild sea, his senses overwhelm his faith:
But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, "Lord, save me!" (Matthew 14:30)
I don't know of a more powerful prayer. It literally moved the hand of God:
Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him. (Matthew 14:31)
When Moses' sister, Miriam, rebelled against his leadership, she was struck with leprosy. Immediately, Moses prayed this prayer:
"O God, please heal her!" (Numbers 12:13)
Seven days later, she was healed.
Jesus told of a Pharisee whose prayer focused on his own good works.
Then He told of a tax collector, who would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, "God, be merciful to me a sinner!"
God was merciful:
I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other. (Luke 18:13-14)
Dying next to Jesus, one of the thieves said to him, "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom."It wasn't long before his prayer was answered:
Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise." (Luke 23:42-43)
In contrast to these modest prayers, Jesus described the wordy, showy prayers of others. The scribes, he said, offer long prayers for appearance's sake (Luke 20:47).  And the Gentiles heap up empty phrases, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. (Matthew 6:7)
Do not be like them, Jesus said, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. (Matthew 6:8)
Sometimes we focus on "better" prayers, longer prayers, more intense prayers...
but prayer is not an act of faith in prayer. Prayer is an act of faith in God.
We would do well to say smaller prayers to a bigger Jesus.

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