Photo by Luke Jones in Flickr

Leviticus 2:1–3 ‘When anyone brings a grain offering to the LORD, their offering is to be of the finest flour. They are to pour olive oil on it, put incense on it’ (v1)

Prayer is an offering we bring in demonstration of our confidence in God. It’s like a present, and we want the gift to reflect our perception of the recipient as well as to be valued by them. So our prayer is to originate from a pure heart. Whilst Old Testament (OT) offerings may seem antiquated and no longer relevant, the basis on which they were established remains true today. God calls on us to bring the very best of ourselves before Him and to ensure that our prayer is pure and true. Too often we can stumble into God’s presence from a sense of duty or for self-centred, even self-indulgent reasons. Then our sacrifice of prayer is tainted and unacceptable to the Lord.

We all have needs and God is aware of these. Many are common to everyone, such as the need for a job, a home and food. However, God invites us to pray always with the needs of others in view. As we noted, the Lord’s Prayer is in the plural; it’s inclusive of everyone. Also our forgiveness is directly related to the forgiveness we extend to others. Christianity serves the world by following Jesus’ example and putting others first, and we can most easily do this through our prayers. Anyone we pass and circumstances we observe are all available to be presented in prayer to God. One reason we are able to pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17).

SCRIPTURE TO CONSIDER: Gen. 4:1–12; Isa. 66:18–24; 1 John 2:18–29; Jude 1:17–25.

AN ACTION TO TAKE: Consider if your offering of prayer is pure. How might you practise Paul’s instruction to pray without ceasing?

A PRAYER TO MAKE: ‘Lord, may my eyes and ears be always open to note everything that I can bring as an offering of prayer to You every day. Amen.’

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.