Pristine Grace

Prayer Arithmetic
by Brandan Kraft
Prayer Arithmetic

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. - Matthew 6:5-10

    The Lord Jesus gave his disciples a model for prayer and here it is in plain simple language.  Not MY WILL, but THY WILL BE DONE.  This should be our subject.  But notice also what things do not interest our master.   

    He's not concerned with the arithmetic of our prayers.  He doesn't count how many times we pray.  He's not keeping a tab.  And this means He doesn't hear us based on how little or how much we pray.  

    The Lord does not care about the length of our prayers.  The Lord is not moved by how long or how short our prayers are.  He's not sitting in heaven with a timer measuring the length of our prayers.

    The Lord is not moved by our rhetoric, or our ability to use the language well.  We may be able to impress our friends with our fancy prayers, but that fancy rhetoric will not impress the Lord.

    The Lord is not enamored with the harmony of our prayers.  Large groups of people singing their prayers in perfect unison and harmony with beautiful music to accompany them will not ensure that their prayer is heard.    It may sound pleasant to our ears, and "man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart." (1 Sam 16:7)

    The Lord does not care for the the logic of our prayers.  We may be able to assemble a finely laid out prayer that looks great within our mind.  But that doesn't mean the Lord will hear it.

   The Lord is not interested in the sincerity of our prayers.  We may be sincere, but also sincerely wrong!

    The Lord is not impressed by the company of our prayers.  We may have a high ranking government or church official in attendance,  but that doesn't mean our prayer will be heard.

    But I will tell you what the Lord is interested in and what prayer He will hear.  And that is the prayer that is made on the basis of the Lord Jesus Christ.  If through the Spirit we are enabled to pray in Christ's name and for His sake, we can know that we will be heard.  "Before now you have asked nothing in My name; ask and you shall receive, that your joy may be full.... And whatever you may ask in My name, that I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son." (John 16:24; John 14:13)