Am I Really Praying?

Wow! is an understatement when I read March 3rd from New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp. I highly recommend this devotional if you do not have one. I have been so challenged, so moved, so convicted, so encouraged that I cannot help but share. All credit goes to Tripp. I am just sharing his God lead words to you. I have read and reread March 3rd because I really want to be praying — praying for the kingdom of God not for the kingdom of self. Blessings!

“Prayer is abandoning my reliance on me and running towards the rest that can be found only when I rely on the power of God.”

Paul David Tripp
  • Prayer abandons independence.
  • Prayer forsakes any though that you can make it on your own.
  • Prayer affirms dependency.
  • Prayer acknowledges weakness.
  • Prayer renounces assessments of capability.
  • Prayer embraces the reality of failure.
  • Prayer tells you that you are not at the center.
  • Prayer calls you to abandon your plans for the wiser plans of another.
  • Prayer flows from a deep personal sense of need and runs towards God’s abundant grace.

Because of what prayer really is, prayer is not natural for us.

  • It’s not natural for us to embrace our sin, weakness, and failure.
  • It’s not natural for us to be comfortable depending on the mercy of another.
  • It’s not natural for us to surrender our hopes and dreams to the better vision of another.
  • It’s not natural for us to surrender our wisdom and control to someone greater than us.
  • It’s not natural for us to think that we need grace.

On the other hand,

  • It’s natural for us to think that our righteousness, wisdom, strength, and work are enough.

As a result,

Many of our prayers are the religious pronouncements of self-righteous people, the long wish lists of entitled people, or the impatient demands of people who are wondering what in the world God is doing. So many of our prayers aren’t prayers at all (Luke 18:9-14).

“So many of our prayers aren’t prayers at all” (Luke 18:9-14).

Here is the bottom line…

  • We need to be met by God’s grace if, in true humility, we are ever going to be able to abandon our self-reliance and pray for grace.
  • It is only by grace that we will ever acknowledge our need for grace and worship God for the grace He has so willingly lavished on us.

Since prayer is fundamentally counterintuitive, we need grace to rescue us from our self-oriented religious meanderings so that with humble hearts, we may acknowledge God as the Redeemer-King and cast ourselves on His gracious care.

“Prayer always forsakes the kingdom of self for the kingdom of God, and for that we all need forgiving, rescuing, and transforming grace.”

This is just the kind of grace for which true prayer leads us to cry out.

Luke 11:1-13

[Amplified Version]

Instruction about Prayer

11 It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after He finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. ‘Give us each day our daily bread. ‘And forgive us our sins, For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us [who has offended or wronged us]. And lead us not into temptation but rescue us from evil].’”

Parable of Persistence

Then He said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and goes to him at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves [of bread]; for a friend of mine who is on a journey has just come to visit me, and I have nothing to serve him’; and from inside he answers, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been shut and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything just because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence and boldness he will get up and give him whatever he needs. “So I say to you, ask and keep on asking, and it will be given to you; seek and keep on seeking, and you will find; knock and keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who keeps on asking [persistently], receives; and he who keeps on seeking [persistently], finds; and to him who keeps on knocking [persistently], the door will be opened. 11 What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you, then, being evil [that is, sinful by nature], know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask and continue to ask Him!”

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered}

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