Prayer is the Master Key

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A prayer full of faith is one that has your heart desires being made known to God along with your human effort; but deep down inside your heart, you are in submission to His will because you know that He knows best (Luke 22:42). When your heart is connected to God, nothing else matters. You can talk to Him anytime anywhere. Closing your eyes during prayer is optional but it helps your mind to concentrate when approaching the throne of mercy. You can pray with your eyes open and you don't need a special location to pray; you can pray anywhere at anytime. I disagree with those who believe you should write down your prayers on a piece of paper to read read out loud word for word. The time you spent writing it is enough to just pray it with your eyes open.

To me, everyone is entitled to their opinion but writing down an entire prayer to read word for word takes away the intimacy and authenticity. This makes prayer more like a chore than actually making your request known to God or just having "a little talk with Jesus" as the song says. I don't think you need to type up a page of paper to go ask your dad for lunch money or keys to the family car. Yes, we often claim we don't want to forget something but my question is, when was the last time you actually put everything in one prayer? You can't because you will need a billion pages. This is why you pray and pray without ceasing because there will always be something left out that you want to talk to God about. So, keep the conversation going (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and intimate.
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We are broken and we need the maker to fix us. We are lost and need the Savior to guide us. So we ask through prayer. When we pray, we must believe and have faith that the maker is able to fix and the savior is able to guide. Sometimes we pray and we are told that we did not receive because we didn't have enough faith. Yes, whatever we ask in faith will be granted. If we believe that our faith can move mountains then we ought to believe our doubts can create obstacles.

Now pause for a second, most of the time the problem we have is not the lack of faith or insufficient faith. The problem is our faith is misplaced or focused in the wrong direction. We often think our faith should be to believe that "God will answer" our prayers when in fact our faith MUST be to believe that our prayer will be answered in accordance with "God's will" by praying like Jesus when He said in Luke 22:42 "...not my will, but your's be done."
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When we ask in His name, we must be willing to accept His will for us. If you truly want God's will to be done, and your prayers are sincere, then your prayers are answered even if the result is not what you expected. More often than not we act like we want God's will to be the answer to our prayers when in reality every bit of our heart wants our wish to come true and for God to answer our prayers exactly as we wish. This is where the limitation of faith comes in and create worries (Matthew 8:26) because we are not fully committed to accepting the fact that He is Lord and His will being done will be the best answer to our prayers.

The bible encourages us to pray without ceasing. This means continuously as much as possible. Some may refer to this as babbling or repetition but the truth is, this is not the kind of babbling Jesus was referring to in Matthew 6:7. Jesus was referring to the pagans and hypocrites in general Matthew 6:5-8 because their words are empty because of the content of their heart. Jesus could careless about you English, French, Spanish or ability to memorize the dictionary for big words, synonyms and antonyms. So making an honest mistake by using two different words that means the same thing is not "babbling" or "repetition" in context.
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The Pharisees and their hypocritical ways of praying for people to notice was rewarded by human praise. An example would be someone praying for their enemy and saying it out loud whenever they notice someone around so as to be praised by men for always praying for their enemies. They pray it in front of their co-worker, their friends, and wherever they know someone is watching or listening. Another example will be someone that likes to put up a show at a restaurant so people will notice that he/she always pray before eating so you'll here them say things like bless this food multiple times or use a very noticeable prayer posture to draw attention to themselves - thereby defeating the purpose of the prayer.

It's always good to pray for forgiveness of sins including the sins that we don't know about. Sometimes we sin without even knowing it. We think we are doing something good when in fact it may not be the will of God. We fight the wrong battle many times when we should know His kingdom is not of this world. I personally pray for forgiveness of the sins I committed knowingly and unknowingly every night. This helps me to remember how grateful I should be for the power of grace and also helps to sleep well with a clear conscience on the nights that sleeping is an option. I remember at a very young age my dad would say thing like because you did everything on your checklist doesn't mean you did them right.
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Remember when Jesus told Peter to "...get behind me, Satan!" - Matthew 16:22-23. To the human eyes, Peter did no wrong. Peter actually did what any of us would do in the same situation - trying to "save" the Savior. But this "good deed" of Peter was actually a stumbling block against the will of God because Jesus was on earth for one reason, and the reason was to die for our sins. To be the sacrificial lamb for our sins taken away. So Peter's enthusiasm to stand up for Jesus backfired at him. We do this too on a daily basis when we think we are doing something right when in fact that "good deed" could be preventing the greater good. 

I remember we use to sing a song that says prayer is the master key as seen below. If we believe this to be true, how often do we utilize that master key to unlock the doors and obstacles in our way? Do we use that master key often to access the throne of mercy and talk to our Father? Or is that master key collecting dust from not being used? Even Jesus knew the importance of prayer and he prayed; so should we.