Jesus teaches His followers concerning prayer and personal treasures.
We cannot fool God. It is impossible to put something over on Someone who is omniscient. We can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time. But not God. Jesus says, "Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them"(Matthew 6:1).
It is easy for us to fall into the trap of living our Christian lives for the sake of other Christians. We should be living it for the sake of our relationship with the Lord. We may find ourselves going to church, singing the songs, and going through the motions but spending no time cultivating a personal relationship with the Lord. Such a relationship does not come easily. It requires commitment and time.
But we must not fool ourselves, either. The Lord does not want merely our church attendance or other external actions. He wants us!
· Ponder the fact that the Lord wants a personal relationship with us, and offer Him your praise:
O Lord God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven, and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no one is able to withstand You? (2 Chronicles 20:6).
· Pause for personal praise and thanksgiving. As you seek to keep your life free from sin, pray this confession to the Lord:
The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?
I, the Lord, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give every man according to his ways,
And according to the fruit of his doings
· As you ponder the mercy of God, confess any sins that the Holy Spirit brings to your mind. Now pause to pray this affirmation to the Lord:
Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).
· As you make your requests known to the Lord, pray for:
· greater love for the lost,
· the work of missions in Africa,
· your activities for the day.
· Offer this closing prayer to the Lord:
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever