Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Praying or verbalising "nonesense"
Therefore thus says the Lord God: "Because you have spoken nonsense and envisioned lies, therefore I am indeed against you," says the Lord God. (Ezekiel 13:8)
We are to have the mind of Christ, that is, we are to think God's thoughts after Him. To have God's thoughts we need to see things from His perspective. God's perspective is revealed in His Word.
If we speak of, or into, any situation, from any other perspective outside of God's, then God Himself states that we are speaking "nonesense", and such nonesense arises out of a false vision--a lie.
God, the sovereign Lord, has determined whatsoever shall come to pass from before the foundation of the earth. He invites us to be cooperative, co-labourers in His eternal purposes. As such, prayer is first and foremost, the alignment of our fallen wills with God's, holy, perfect will. The first, and most important duty of prayer is to be still and know that God is God. It is essential that stillness is not a passive stillness, such as the self-emptying of Transcendental Meditationsists; rather our stillness is to be an active stillness -- reading, thinking upon with self-application, the law of God and the glorious Gospel promises. As we do so, the mind of Christ is progessively formed in us. It is then, out of this mindset, that we can move into the verbalisation of our prayers to God, confident that since we are praying according to His Will, He shall hear us. God is pleased to answer the prayers prayed in alignment with His perfiect will; he is against those who pray arid nonesence.
When Jesus was asked, "Lord teach us to pray," He gave to His disciples a model prayer - a prayer catechism, as you will. This prayer begins with the revelation and glorification of God Himself. From there it moves to concerns for God's kingly rule and sovereign will being done in time and on earth -- out of our vision of heaven, gained through being actively still in God's presence, we are to pray for an earthly conformity to the heavenly vision. The next phase of the model prayer is an acknowledgement of our utter dependence upon God to deal with sin and Satan in our lives and the lives of others, with a request for provision to enable us to fulfil our duty in the unfolding of God's Eternal purpose. Finally the prayer re-affirms the majesty of the Triune God Who fills heaven and earth.
As with all catechisms, they are to be learned by rote, perhaps initially with little understanding. However the form is to be a famework around which broader application is made as improved understanding develops in time.
In like manner, the great prayers recorded, that were prayed by mature saints throughout the Scriptures, need to be meditated upon, memorised, internalized and progressively made personal in application throughout life.
Those who pray in this manner, perhaps initially by rote, but over time extemporaneously, shall never be resisted by God, nor be accused by Him of speaking nonsense and verbalising false visions.