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Shield Daily Devotional  

Day 140

Today we are going to look at the other ditch we can fall into regarding prayer: extemporaneous prayer. Yesterday we saw that just saying words that are predetermined can lead to dead formality. However, extemporaneous prayer can end in a meaningless experience also. By extemporaneous, I mean "speaking or performing with little or no advance preparation." Prayer should require some advance preparation before one speaks directly to Deity. This is a matter of respect and reverence.

Most everything we do requires some prep work. Think about before you leave your home for the day; there is a time of making yourself presentable, getting something to eat and in general organizing your day. In the same way, we are to make ourselves presentable before God by making sure that we are serious about what we are about to do in speaking with Him. Sometimes it is appropriate to feed our souls from His Word before engaging in a lengthy discourse with Him. Also, it is good to organize your thoughts about what you would like to speak about to the Creator of the Universe and the Sustainer of your life. This preparation shows respect in prayer.

Jesus was formal with His Father yet His method revealed an intimacy also. His Words in Matthew 6:9 show this: "After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name." John Wesley said of this verse: "Our Father, who art in heaven, lays a general foundation for prayer, comprising what we must first know of God, before we can pray in confidence of being heard. It likewise points out to us our that faith, humility, love, of God and man, with which we are to approach God in prayer." Today as you pray take some time to organize your thoughts and prepare your heart before engaging God. It will show respect and reverence and He is entitled to be treated in such a manner.
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