Blessed… It’s Not About Us

“When you pray, don’t be like hypocrites. They love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners so that people will see them. I assure you, that’s the only reward they’ll get. But when you pray, go to your room, shut the door, and pray to your Father who is present in that secret place. Your Father who sees what you do in secret will reward you (Matthew 6:5-6, Common English Bible).

For the past month, prayer has been the subject of worship, study and discussion around my church as we have been working our way through Mark Batterson’s book, The Circle Maker. It is my favorite book on prayer.

Some of Batterson’s discussion has been about prayer posture. He talks about literally praying on our knees. I know for some people, that is difficult, maybe even impossible because of the physical limitations of the body. Still, there is something about humbling ourselves by being on our knees or even prostrate on the floor. The thing is, its about humbling ourselves. If the reason we are kneeling or laying on the floor is so others can see how faithful we are in prayer, we can stop because we need to remember, it isn’t really about us.

As a pastor, I regularly pray in front of other people. I know many lay people who do that as well. Once I heard someone say they didn’t pray in public because of our passage today. I might be wrong, but I really don’t think this is what Jesus means here. This isn’t an instruction against corporate prayer. It is all about prayer that focuses on the one praying rather than focusing on and giving the glory to God. When we do that, we not only miss the boat, we are miles from the water.

Prayer, is not about me. To think otherwise defies logic. If prayer is about me, why do I need to pray. If I am praying about something that is within my power to do, that means I don’t need God and there was really no point in saying a prayer. But, to pray for things I cannot do, moves my prayer past myself. It is not a prayer about me. It at least should give all the glory to God. And, that is where the glory belongs.

It is one thing to pray together. But, we also need prayer time on our own. This is where the importance of going to our prayer closet, to go into a private place where we can focus on God. This kind of alone prayer is important to our personal spiritual development. It is vital to the growth of our souls.

I don’t think this necessarily has to be a room, but instead the place where you feel closest go God. To be effective in prayer means placing ourselves in the place where we do feel close to God. For some that might be a closet. For others it might mean sitting under a tree in the woods or while walking on the beach. The possibilities are endless. The real key is to find the place and then spend time alone with God.

Where is your place to talk to God?

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy and Peace,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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