Teach (me) to pray Luke 11:1
Recently on one of Nick's visits to Manchester Airport to work with the chaplaincy team there, a man who is temporarily homeless and living in the airport knocked on the door of the chaplaincy office.
Nick continues the story...
He is known to us from previous encounters and we are helping him in various practical ways. He was as usual very friendly and talkative and on this occasion the conversation turned to more spiritual matters and out of the blue he asked simply “What is the best way to pray? How do you begin?”
Immediately I saw an open door here and took the opportunity to tell him that prayer must come from the heart. It is not just a religious duty, and it must begin at the foot of the cross. First and foremost there is a need to acknowledge our sin, and our need of Christ as our Saviour. I pointed out that prayer is actually part of a living, intimate relationship with the Almighty. God doesn't just want us to say prayers, He wants us to talk with Him and walk in fellowship with Him moment by moment, day by day. I then explained however, that there was an issue regarding sin. God is holy and righteous. He cannot even look upon sin.
Habbakuk 1:13 (God is) of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness.
Isaiah 59:2 ...your iniquities have separated you from your God...
I went on to say that God wanted to embrace us and bring us into His family but that He could not do so until the sin in our lives had been dealt with. I said that this is why Jesus came. I then gave him the gospel saying that the first prayer he should consider praying is one of repentance and of seeking forgiveness, then asking Jesus into his life and that this is where every believer had to begin.
I am not saying that he accepted Christ there and then, I think he was a little taken aback, but we certainly gave him food for thought. We then went on to help him with his immediate, material needs and I am sure as we continue working on his on-going support we will have further such talks in the future.
Please pray for this man.