Anger and Worry – Enemies of Prayer
Matthew 5.23-24 – Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.
We should never take anger and the gift of prayer to the altar.
In Matthew 6.25-34 Jesus speaks convincingly about worry. Verse 33 is central to understanding the issue of worry and trust.
Verse 33 – “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
If we begin a prayer with fear in our hearts and end with fear totally gone, we may rest assured that our prayer is answered. If we end our prayer and are still in fear, we may know that our prayer is not yet answered.
How can we have perfect trust?
Phillip Brooks wrote, “The little child digs his well in the seashore sand, and the great Atlantic, miles deep, miles wide, is stirred all through and through to fill it for him.”
The first step in preparing ourselves for prayer is the clearing of the channel, making ready for the inflow of God’s love.
Think of God as all loving, all powerful, all perfect, with no anger and no distrust and no fear. Then, keeping your gaze steadily upon Him, feel the petty annoyances, the prejudices, and the selfish desires falling away like worthless garments.
In His Name
A person who prays with power knows that she does not do the praying; she merely directs in a very small and sometimes awkward way, forces that are greater than herself.
Seven times Jesus said something like this: “Whatever you ask the Father in my name, He will give you.” Jesus never spoke what was not true, and when He took the pains to repeat this seven times He surely meant that His word be heeded.
What does it mean to pray in Christ’s name?
Does it mean to pray in our own name, adding at the end a lame postscript that the prayed was offered in Christ’s name?
Jesus does not ask for labels. He asks for the real thing. He does not ask for prayers with clean exteriors – they must be clean within as well.
To pray in Christ’s name we should become one with Him – not in the flesh, but in the spirit. To speak in Christ’s name means that we love Him; we represent Him and express Him; we abide in Him and He abides in us.
As we come to the Father in the name, in the spirit, and in the likeness of His Son, the Father will hear us and will answer us, because we are representatives of His Son.
As breathing is merely a taking in and giving out of air, so prayer is merely a taking in and giving forth of God.