"This, then, is how you should pray... Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Matthew 6:9-10
True prayer is always a person's answer to God's Word. Prayer is half a conversation -- the last half. How important that we see our prayers in this way -- as our part in a conversation with God that was begun when God called us through His Word.
A good conversation requires patient listening as well as talking. When one ceases to listen and does all the talking, that person is no longer taking part in a conversation, but is making a speech. If we see our prayers as our part of a conversation initiated by God, we shall understand how important listening is to prayer.
In our life with God we need to alternately talk and listen. Both activities are essential for a healthy relationship with God. To pray and then not meditate on God's Word is to ask a question and then fail to listen for the answer.
We pray, "Your will be done." In answer to this prayer, God will give us the strength to follow His direction. But the knowledge of His will is to be gotten from His Word. He has given us His Word to serve as "a lamp to [our] feet and a light for [our] path" (Psalm 119:105). "Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly" (Colossians 3:16) and "pray continually" (1 Thessalonians 5:17). The Christian life is the outcome of this two-way conversation between God and His trusting child.
PRAYER: Good Lord, help us to listen to You as patiently as You listen to us; in Jesus' name. Amen.
(Devotions from "The Abundant Life" copyright 1998, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time e-mailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)