What Role Does Prayer Have In Your Life?
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What Role Does Prayer Have In Your Life?
This is an interesting question and one that we probably should stop and ponder for ourselves.
I have been challenged this year to move up a level in my prayer life – talking and connecting with God – from many directions. My pastor began increasing prayer in staff meetings and encouraging prayer in his sermons last year. I see the difference in the pastoral staff and in the activities of the church – prayer made that difference. I, personally have felt the tugging on my heart with verses on prayer, articles and books on prayer coming across my path.
The more I ponder prayer and experience regularly conversations with God- the more I become convinced of the essentialness of prayer. Prayer is essential.
Essential – absolutely necessary; indispensable ; necessary to the existence of a thing
Bill Graham was quoted as having a couple of regrets – If he could do his life over he would have preached less and prayed more.
All good marriage counselors agree that healthy communication is the key to a lasting and joyful relationship. Why do we think that it is any different to our relationship with God? Most believers have either no communication or one way communication. But a deep, joyful and satisfying relationship with God has two way communication and prayer is prioritised as essential.
Recently I have been challenged to pray more in these 3 areas:
1. to pray more for people
Not just a quick – Please God bless my sons today… but more in depth – asking God what to pray first and following the Spirit’s lead. Asking God to show me what He wants me to pray from His word on behalf of people. To do this on a daily basis. To be committed to pray for people. To pray for random people that I pass on the street – I could be the only person in their life that spoke to God on their behalf – what a privilege! – what a responsibility.
I urge you, first of all to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. I Timothy 2:1 NLT
2. to pray before every activity
God wants to be involved in our whole life – not just our morning devotions or church on Sunday morning but our whole life. That includes our day jobs, household chores, our leisure time, exercise time, our eating – our going in and going out. Jesus tells us to love God with everything – all of our heart, mind, soul and strength.
Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you. He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun. Psalm 37:5-6 NLT
This involves creating a new habit of deliberately stopping before the start of a new activity in your day and committing it to the Lord. What are we saying if we don’t do this? That we are more able to carry out our day’s activities without referring to Him – the creator and sustainer of life. The very breath in our lungs today is supplied by the hand of God.
3. to pray before reading/studying the Bible
Oh boy, has God convicted me on this one. I love studying the Word – it’s my way of worship to God. But I have neglected to pause before I study/read and ask for God’s direction, for God to open up His Word and my eyes to see His ways and His truth – not my own.
I am currently reading “Releasing the Rivers Within” by Dwight Edwards and he says ” When we read our Bible without pleading for the Spirit’s illumination, we betray a lingering confidence in our flesh that we can understand God’s eternal truths through the medium of our finite, earthbound minds”. That is so true – by not praying first I am saying that I can understand God’s truth without the need of the Holy Spirit – Who God placed inside me to help me understand His truths! How arrogant!
So what have I experienced since praying more in these 3 areas?
- an increased sense of the holiness of God. The more I pray and seek God’s face the more I come away undone. I get a glimpse of Moses’ feelings as he took off his sandals and stood on holy ground in front of the burning bush. This heightened sense of God’s holiness seeps into all areas of my life and it motivates me to root out thoughts and activities that God doesn’t want me to be a part of.
- an awareness of God’s hand in circumstances. There is an enlightenment – the eyes of my heart have become more enlightened (Eph 1:18). I can ‘see’ or recognise God more in the circumstances of my day. This makes for a more fun filled and satisfying life.
- my everyday life becomes worship. Every time I talk to God before a daily activity I am putting Romans 12:1 into action. As I present my body/ activity to God it is like a living and holy sacrifice.
- increased vision. The more I pray for people – the more I have to pray. God shows me more of His vision for the people that I am praying for, giving me more to pray. So exciting!
God is always wanting to take us deeper. It’s up to you – are you up to the challenge – it’s a lifestyle upgrade not something that you ‘try out for a while’.
Personal update: I am close to finish writing my book on prayer this month. It will then go to the editor in May. If you would like to be kept informed on the book’s release including the possibility of receiving it for free then sign up/stay on my email list. On signing up you will receive a free ebook.
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