Of course 1st Thess. 5:17 tells us to pray without ceasing, but I believe that Jesus is talking about intimate time with God. Our special time with only Him. When we need to be alone. When we need to shut the door. I heard Ann Graham Lot talk about what a struggle setting her prayer time aside is. She talks about fighting through and persevering. I love it! I feel that way many times as I'm trying to get to my room, and my knees to pray. Her words really encouraged me. If someone like her feels like she has to fight and struggle to get to her pray time then there is nothing wrong with me or you having to struggle too.
Sometimes I think; Why is this so hard? The school calls, the dog throws up, the neighbor bangs on the door for the first time in 3 months. I remember the clothes in the washer that are going to mildew if I don't save them , or the dentist visit that has to be scheduled right then or I'll forget it. Ephes. 6:12 explains it. Our struggle is not against flesh and blood. I started taking my phone off the hook and taking a paper and pen with me to write down the things that I seem to remember only when I go to pray. Every prayer time I'm presented with different circumstances that threaten my time. I am trying to view each distraction with an eternal perspective. This does seem to help but the struggle for that precious time goes on. Anyway, I want to use the word PRAYER because it has 6 letters and the "Lords Prayer" is here. Although, it's not really the Lord's prayer. It's a guide to our prayer time.
Something else I want to mention is that some people teach and believe that you are not truly able to pray and experience a rich full prayer life unless you pray in tongues. They truly believe that some how your faith or belief is lacking if you don't have this spiritual gift. In response to this, I think we have to look to the scripture for our answer. There is never an instance in the bible when Jesus speaks in tongues, never a time when He says we should eagerly seek this gift. Here in Matthew 6, Jesus is teaching the disciples about prayer. There is no mention of tongues in this passage. In Luke 11, the disciples ask Jesus to teach them to pray. There is no mention of tongues in this passage either. In 1st Corinthians 12, Paul teaches about spiritual gifts. In that chapter he says " to each one is given the manifestation of the spirit for the common good" . This is an excellent chapter to read and learn about the gifts of the spirit if you have ever had questions.
I had a discussion at a yard sale with a woman that held the view on tongues that I mentioned earlier. When I asked her about 1st Corinth. 12, she told me that she wasn't a bible scholar. (?huh?)
Anyway, The other thing I want to use to remember this chapter is WORRY. I know it's only 5 letters but I think having a reference to where all the times the Lord mentions being anxious and worrying is a good thing. I won't list them here because we want to remember that Chapter 6 of Matthew addresses worrying in verses 25-34 . Many of you have heard me say that living under the burdens of the "What Ifs" is a very heavy burden to live under. Verse 34 of chapter 6 is amazing, "Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for it self. Each day has enough trouble of it's own" Amazing, "each day has enough trouble of it's own"
This statement is so "now" isn't it?
So we will use PRAYER and WORRY to remember CHAPTER 6
CHAPTER 5 we are using BLESS your HEART
CHAPTER 4 think FAST, Jesus fasted 40 days and 40 nights and He called 4 DISCIPLES, Peter, Andrew, James and John.
CHAPTER 3, h2O John the Baptist, baptizes Jesus and we see the TRINITY when Jesus comes out of the water.
CHAPTER 2, JESUS TURNS 2, THE WISE MEN COME, HEROD SLAUGHTERS THE 2 YEAR OLDS
CHAPTER 1, first 17 verses are genealogy and then if you turn 18 on it's side it looks like a SWADDLED BABY, we have the story of the (one) only begotten son. It's the Christmas story.
Sorry it took me a little while longer than normal to get to this. It's time to go on to Chapter 7, if you haven't already. Remember to keep reading and keep practicing. Soon you will start feeling very confident about the book of Matthew.