Heart Posture

“And when you come before God, don’t turn that into a theatrical production either. All these people making a regular show out of their prayers, hoping for fifteen minutes of fame! Do you think God sits in a box seat?

 Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.

The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply.”  Matthew 6: 5-8 MSG

If you’ve been raised in the institutional Church like myself, we’ve been trained and indoctrinated with so many formulas, rituals, programs, doctrines, and religious ‘speak’ for many years. After many years prayer becomes too common in our heart posture. What do I mean by that? It means if the Spirit of the Lord was to physically manifest in front of us in all His blazing glory, would we still be praying to Him at that moment like we always pray? Have you become complacent in your heart attitude in your prayer life? I too still struggle with this. I often stop myself and begin again after realizing I’m just going through the motions of prayer, and I check my heart – and attempt the best I can feel… to be honest and real with Him at that moment.

The same goes for all the things He asks us to do. Are we looking around to see who will see us ‘doing His work’ so that we can feel good about ourselves? Or looking for ‘likes’ or ‘comments’, or the times someone has read or listened to what you wrote, or said, or posted online? It’s human nature to want to be noticed and loved. But spiritual maturity isn’t looking for ANY approval …but His alone. Are you satisfied with His approval alone? OR do you need others to give you the attention and love you are seeking? This is a battle with our soul with inner iniquities and those roots of pride, fear, and lust (discontentment and always wanting more). The battle really is for us to look to the Spirit of God who dwells within us for our ‘soul’ needs, instead of giving in to the ‘felt’ needs of the soul and body. This is actually a trained discipline of awareness and focus.

What’s funny to me is the above scripture is right before the ‘Lord’s Prayer’, and then what do most people do? They turn the Lord’s prayer into a ritual and formula. Most people can say this prayer without thinking or feeling or being really honest with God. Isn’t that the exact opposite of what Jesus was just explaining about prayer?

Jesus goes on to talk about fasting, and giving, and how both of those practices are to be without notice as well. We are SO concerned about what others think of us, rather than what our Heavenly Father thinks of us. Can we be obedient to God and the Holy Spirit with the things He asks us to do – without ever telling or be noticed by anyone, and be totally satisfied that only He knows?

Be honest with yourself, then be honest with Him.

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