Communication is arguably man’s greatest leverage over the other creatures of God: It is with the aid of superior communication that man has been able to achieve most of his great feats on the earth.
It will not be farfetched to state that man’s proximity to divinity is based largely on his ability to commune consciously with a divine force that exceeds his human understanding.
It is on the platform of this communication that some of the world’s greatest inventions are wrought because it takes communion with divinity to draw inspiration from superhuman muses to the realm of the ordinary.
Over time, this form of communication has evolved into a popular phenomenon in most religions(prayer) and like most trends before and after it, it has also suffered the brutal abuse of man’s ignorance and misinformation.
BUT JESUS KNEW BETTER!
As one who had a personal relationship with God, he understood the value of the communication between humanity and divinity and throughout his stay on earth, he leveraged on the infallibility of this secret to cause wonders.
The problem is: prayer has been abused over the years and even after Jesus in his infinite wisdom and mercy proffered a final solution, he was blatantly ignored by a majority of humanity.
LET US TAKE A LOOK AT THE PAINFUL REALITY:
The place of prayer has been transformed from a temple of worship to God to a venue where request and orders are tossed at God.
The term communication can no longer be tagged in the prayer of an average Christian because communication involves the sending and receiving of information and in most prayers today, the sending is totally dominant but the receiving part is totally nonexistent.
Christians go into the place of prayer to holler at God, dump their request (a more fitting word will be ORDER) and leave before he has the chance to say hi.
Enough of that for now: let us take our minds and focus for a minute from this quagmire and consider how Jesus viewed prayer.
The following nuggets are a pointer to how Jesus approached prayer while he was on earth.
DO NOT PRAY TO BE SEEN: personally, I think this point is so obvious that it might literarily be hitting us in the face. Let me put it this way if prayer is simply the act of talking to God then how is it possible to have a chat with your maker and be involved with something else? Or better still, how can you be involved in a conversation with the one who is responsible for your breath and raise your voice rudely? Sometimes I feel that in our subconscious God is relegated to a tool for granting our interminable and selfish needs.
IF YOU ARE TALKING TO GOD, TALK TO GOD AND LEAVE MAN OUT OF THE PICTURE: this is pretty simple: if prayer is a communication with God, then it needs to be treated thus and on that note I think it is important to note that it is extremely rude to concentrate on another person while speaking with one. Why then do we claim to pray but still concentrate on the sea of humanity around us? Personally, I am more of an advocate for private prayer and I do not mean just prayer in solitude: what I’m saying is that when praying, you should cultivate an attitude of having a personal and very important conversation with someone extremely important to you.
AVOID VAIN REPITITION: by vain repetition here, I’m not just talking about the consistent repetition of few words or syllables even though I still do not subscribe to such mode of praying (God is not deaf please). What I really want to point out is the propensity of most of us to make prayer a lengthy session of discussing about our personal needs. Let me put it this way: if you have a friend who is only interested in talking about his or herself during conversations, would you want to spend quality time with such person? (really think about it)
MAINTAIN A RESPECTFUL DISPOSITION: Yes God is spirit and we must relate with him in that frequency. I know this but there is something about a physical disposition of respect that mentally communicates reverence. This is why an ardent and well cultured man or woman from the western part of Nigeria genuflects subconsciously when they are having a conversation with someone older than them (even on the phone). When we assume a sober demeanour and a respectful disposition, it translates to our subconscious that what is being done at that moment is of utmost importance.
PREPARE: remember this: “you do not appear to meet God, you prepare to meet God. Let us take a quick detour back to the days of old when kings were treated with a level of reverence that bordered on worship. You do not just waltz into the court of a king without preparing what you want to say (that’s if your life is still important to you). If such reverence can be accrued to man whose days are numbered and whose wisdom is fallible, how much can be too much for God who created man? It is extremely dangerous and incredibly disrespectful to go into the place of prayer unprepared. (God is not your gist buddy). Give your prayers careful thought and if possible put them in writing. Now I know God is omniscient and he knows all things but the act of giving him reverence by preparing before stepping into his court will give you unlimited access to his attention because if there is one thing I know about God, it is the fact that he always wants his deserved glory. (and why shouldn’t he, he has earned it over and over again)
In my next post, I will be teaching on how Jesus prayed and how you can replicate his style today.