At our last Men’s Prayer Breakfast I listened as a brother spoke about his dad: in 1984 his dad was operated on to remove a tumor on the side of his face. The removal changed his appearance but the biggest loss, to his son anyway, was his ability to hear; all hearing was lost on one side and the other ear was greatly impaired. I found out after breakfast that the brother was four years old when this happened.
Fast forward to September 2013, this same father met with a specialist regarding a new device that might restore some of his hearing. After the tests were completed it was determined that this man’s hearing will be improved by the device. The father said “Order me one”.
My brother went on to say that in two weeks his dad would be fitted for the device; I could hear the excitement building in his voice. The voice and the facial expressions changed just a bit signaling my brother was on the edge of tears, and then he said, “I can’t wait to talk to dad”.
As my brother counts down the days, eagerly anticipating that first talk, I thought to myself, “O that we would value and cherish our ability to talk to our Heavenly Father”.
We need to know that there are laws governing our access to God in prayer. “What laws?” If God shows us a sin in our life, and we do not deal with it, our communication with God is severed. Psa 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
Guys, if we are not the husbands God called us to be communications with God can be severed. 1Pe 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
Because of grace we can repent of our sin, we can restore a relationship with our spouse, and the lines of communication will be opened again.
Why we should pray
Why is my brother counting the days until he can talk with his dad? He loves him; he longs to engage him in meaningful conversation; he wants to tell him about hopes and dreams, highs and lows, to receive advice and perhaps to say he is sorry; he wants to share his life with dad. This is exactly the same things we should share with our Heavenly Father.
Our prayer life is a measuring stick of our spiritual condition. Christianity is having a personal relationship with God. We cannot have a relationship without communication.
For those of you who have, or remember back when you had, teenagers in the house you can recall wanting to have meaningful communication with your children. Was that fun? Feeling locked out of the life of someone you love is painful. What does God think of us when He gets worn out, recycled, prayers that are habit driven rather than heart felt? He probably thinks we are acting like teenagers.
In our scripture text the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. Normally I would take these verses, break them down into points and build a lesson. Not this time, each of us desperately needs a healthy prayer life with our Heavenly Father. This journey should be a personal one so I am just pointing you at a place to start. I beg you to make the time to read Luke 11:1-13 and begin / renew the process of building a line of communication with God.
So what is the goal? How do I know when I have a healthy relationship with God? Answer: when your heart says “I can’t wait to talk to my Heavenly Father”.