| In this technology crazed society we live in we find ourselves constantly looking for the best deal on our wireless communication devices. Interestingly enough, even when a provider offers something for free, there is something in the fine print that makes the offer anything but free. Extended contract, roaming fees, charges for text or data usage and the list goes on. Men are genetically hardwired to look for the “best deal” and we will go to great lengths to find what we believe is the right offer for us. Yet our Heavenly Father has been offering the absolute best unlimited access package with absolutely no cost to us throughout the ages. Far too often we think of this free unlimited access as our last resort than our first line of defense. God not only encourages us to use this access, He is an active participant with each man utilizing this access commonly referred to as “prayer.”
What is prayer? Prayer is the communication tool used to converse with our Heavenly Father. Conversation is meant to be a two-way activity so it is important that we understand our talking to God is only one aspect of prayer. We must also take time to listen to what He has to say to us. It is how we grow closer to God and it is the way we develop a more intimate relationship with Him. While the word “intimate” makes some men cringe, if we are totally honest we would admit that we want a close personal relationship with our Heavenly Father. Psalm 139 gives a wonderful word picture of how intimately God knows each one of us. One example is the verses that say “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” God would like nothing better than for us to seek to know Him with that same intimacy.
In general, men are accused of being poor communicators and overcoming this requires that we expend effort and energy to develop the skills needed to be effective at communicating. Jesus provided excellent prayer models for us to utilize when we are having a conversation with Him. Jesus tells us “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? ‘And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
To genuinely pray a prayer like this requires that we have grown in our faith and trust in God. Otherwise, we pray the prayer and then try to resolve issues on our own. This kind of relationship requires that we spend effort and energy regularly and frequently in prayer rather than waiting for a crisis or significant event in our lives to drive us to pray.
We learn in Philippians “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” Yet every man reading this can probably give an example of where they requested something of God and it was not provided. The book of James gives us the probable answer as to why God did not answer our prayer. “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” This passage reminds us that we must approach our communications with God having His will and His desires as our motivation and not our own agenda.
Matthew 6 tells us “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” When this passage says “go into your room, close the door” it does not literally mean go into your room (although it is okay to do so) it simply is telling us that our conversation should be a private one rather than a public display. Even when praying corporately our conversation should between us and God and not for public recognition.
James tells us “You do not have, because you do not ask God.” God’s men must realize the risk of not praying is we not only do not get what we want but we may get what we don’t want. The world (and the one who has dominion in this world, Satan) will try to convince us that we do not have time in our busy schedules. The truth is we find time to do what we make a priority. Therefore, utilizing God’s free, unlimited wireless access to communicate with Him must be our number one priority. Without it, we miss the opportunity of the tremendous power that exists through prayer. James 5:16(b) tells us “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” Remember, righteousness is not something we gain on our own but we are made righteous because of what God has done for us. God’s men are righteous when they are in a “right relationship” with God.
Maybe it’s time for you to exercise the only true free, unlimited access called PRAYER. If you learn to use it effectively you will find it to be a powerful source for dealing with the challenges God’s men face each and every day. Try sending God a “knee-mail” from your free unlimited access and see what happens.