In my detective work over the last few days, I discovered an interesting fact about aircraft. I did not know an airplane had an attitude! Of course, I know squat about airplanes except, they get me from here to there in a reasonable amount of time. I have a nephew-in-law in Texas whose occupation is a flight instructor and ‘flights for hire’ company. If you are reading this Phil, forgive me if I got the specifics messed up! But you maybe have guessed by now, where I am going.
The above picture is called an “Attitude (not “altitude”) Indicator”. It is also known as gyro horizon or artificial horizon, is an instrument used in an aircraft to inform the pilot of the orientation of the plane relative to earth. My first thought was, “I wish Christians had a built-in “Attitude Indicator” when it comes to praying”. I was given an immediate reply from the spirit of God, through the lips of my wife Dianne. She spoke these words given to me: “We do have an Attitude Indicator” honey, given to us by God. He calls the indicator, Holy Spirit!”
Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary: “A position of the body appropriate to or expressive of an action, emotion.”
I ran across a quotations in my studies, that spoke about ATTITUDES:
“ABILITY is what you’re capable of doing. MOTIVATION determines what you do. ATTITUDE determines how well you do it!”
“Our attitudes control our lives. Attitudes are a secret power working twenty-four hours a day, for good or bad. It is of paramount importance that we know how to harness and control this great force.”
So, with theses definitions and quotes planted, let me now expose Our Prayer Attitude, which is based on what the Word of God says by “the help of our built-in Attitude Indicator”; the Holy Spirit.
A GOOD PLACE TO BEGIN: II Chronicles 7:14
“IF My people, who are called by My Name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave, and require of necessity My face, and turn from their wicked ways, THEN will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.”
I capitalized the words “if” and “then” to make a point about the attitude of prayer:
1. Answers to prayers are conditional; “if My people” shall … “then will I hear…”
2. Our position in asking for forgiveness and healing: “humble, seek, crave and require” His face.
I call that ‘our relationship connection’; our intimacy.
THERE IS INTIMACY IN RELATIONSHIP
Intimacy in any relationship requires developing regular communication:
Humbleness in relationships; “spousal relationship” from “Winning in Troubled Times” by Dr. Creflo Dollar. “Be willing to take the blame. Bring to the discussion whatever it is that you received from god in prayer. Acknowledge and take responsibility for your role in the conflict or problem. You can say something like, “Honey, the Lord told me to judge myself. I discovered I have a tendency to blame you for things because I want to protect my own feelings, and I don’t want to take the responsibility.” That quote takes an attitude of humbleness through confession in your relationship as husband and wife. It becomes also an attitude of Spousal Relationship vs. “Daddy” Relationship; our communication in relationship with our heavenly Father through prayer. You can apply this principle to Parental relationship vs. Heavenly Father relationship. If none of these apply to you personally, start looking for an earthly example. And if that doesn’t work for you…you might have to work at it a little harder. HUMILTY take practice, exercise, work, determination, character.
When my wife and I were first saved as believers in Jesus, Dianne said she was having a difficulty in relating to God as her Heavenly Father. She knew it was true but, her relationship with her own earthly father was always strained while growing up. Her dad never spoke much to her, except to correct and discipline. She loved her dad but relationship was never part of her communication. Therefore, she was having a hard time understanding her new-found child of God explanation her Bible spoke of. She was having difficulty with applying her “Attitude Indicator”. She was having difficulty with her orientation of being a new creature in Christ Jesus with Abba Father; her Daddy.
EXAMPLES OF COMMUNICATION
Communication in relationship is supposed to be a “dialogue”, not a “monologue”. I have often found myself praying to God without taking a breath. I go on, and on, and on until Holy Spirit whispers into my spirit, “Your Father can’t answer you if you are doing all the talking. Be quiet!” Those words are not exactly what was spoken to me but you get the idea of my point. Expose your down-falls as the trust builds in your relationship. And don’t be offended when Daddy doesn’t answer the way you expected!
GUIDELINES TO THE RIGHT ATTITUDE
“But the end and culmination of all things has now come near; keep sound minded and self-restrained and alert therefore for [the practice of] prayer” (I Pet. 4:7 AMPLIFIED).
I hate exercise with a passion! Since January 3, 2011 I have lost about twenty-five pounds in weight through a life-style change in my eating habits. I tell others I did it with little or no exercise. Of course everyone wants to know specifically, what diet plan I had adopted so they too could try it; they hate exercise also. Why is it our attitudes line up with, “I always have time to do the thing I love to do but never have the time to do [practice or exercise] the things I don’t want to do”? Could our attitude in our prayers come from the same reasoning? We just don’t like to pray all the time, so why practice prayer?
Remember the “Fruits of the Spirit” in Galatians 5:22-23? “But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is … SELF-CONTROL [self-restraint] or a SOUND MIND”.
EXAMPLES OF OLD TESTAMENT ATTITUDES IN PRAYER in the next BLOG.