The Beginning

Then men began to call upon the name of The Lord.” Genesis 4:26

Though hardly the first time men communicated with God, this passage of Scripture is often pointed out as the first time the act of prayer is recorded in the Bible. The Beginning of prayer in your life is the genesis of true communication.

“Prayer is the intimate communication between the Heavenly Father and His child.” Don Miller

When you begin to call upon the name of the Lord, it reveals a profound awareness of your need for God’s direction, protection and protection. An honest evaluation and clear recognition of your own limitations are the twin towers of wisdom and the beginning of prayer.

Prayerlessness is sin, and the prideful are prayerless. Taking pride in prayerlessness is childishness. A child rejects the aid of parent’s guiding hand with the petulant protest, “I do it myself.” You are called to be child-like, not childish. Big difference. Learn to recognize it and move on to maturity

Pride and praylessness are not fine wines that age well. They are a cancer that eats away at your soul until there is nothing left. Prayer cuts out pride and restores humility, and humility leads to healing.

“My people who are called by My name humble themselves, and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

Being full of yourself leads to taking your own advice, and it never ends well. From Genesis to Revelation the story of pride preceding poor choices and catastrophic consequences for individuals and nations is told over and over again.  Before you become a sermon illustration, or your nation becomes a footnote in history, show some humility. Surf’s up! Start praying.

“People have turned the tide of history because they prayed.” Billy Graham

This passage of Scripture indicates that a time came when men began to think more highly of God than they did of themselves. They feared ignoring the Lord more than calling out to Him. Genuine prayer is the cry of a needy child calling out to The Father and the whisper of a submitted servant yielding to his Lord.   

For centuries the Jews wove the name of Jehovah into the names of their children, as a daily reminder of His Presence. Believing prayer achieves the same thing. When parents guide their children into the practice of prayer, their children learn to practice His Presence.  When you call out His name in prayer, you find Him there.

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” James 4:8

This practice of weaving God’s name into the names of their children must have been a powerful reminder to Jewish parents that a child was a gift from God, even when they were calling out their child’s name in frustration. For a child it must have been a constant reminder that wherever they went, God was there. They could never escape His Presence.

Calling upon the name of The Lord in prayer is the beginning of wisdom. When you fail to do it, you learn from painful, personal experience that mixing prayerlessness and pridefulness produces a poisonous potion. Read the warning labels.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7

“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.” Proverbs 16:18

NOTE TO SELF: You are prideful when you persist in ignoring the warning labels. Don’t drink the Kool-Aid of a culture bent on rebellion. Prayerfully embrace the warnings and receive the wisdom. TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!