Praying to God in faith is one of the most important deeds we can do. Why? Because prayer is the foundation of our relationship with Jesus and reveals how serious we are about obeying Him. It seems very likely that our sincerity and love are measured by our prayer life. Someone asked, if praying were our full-time job, would we still be employed? The Lord is not impressed with our words or even our works as much as He is with our devotion to the secret place of meditation and intercession. Have you been sensing the Holy Spirit speaking to you lately about going deeper with God? There comes a time in our spiritual development where every Christian must move on from the pacifier and the milk and embrace our need to become more mature. The safety we find in the shallow baby pool may give us a sense of security, but it can also be used as an excuse to live in denial.
I have certain things in my life that I would like to accomplish and realize that I only have so much time to do what I’ve been called to do. Followers of Christ realize there is always much at stake and our greatest contribution will involve prayer. Not only is the world facing serious problems, there are many situations within our personal network which need God’s intervention. When we choose to look closely at our responsibility to intercede, we can’t help but notice our apathy and lack of enthusiasm. I am guilty for being sporadic in my prayers and I repent for my selfish attitude. Our days are busy and if we wait until bedtime to pray and read the Bible, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment. Praying must become a lifestyle within the prime time of our day or it will remain an honorable thought. Until we decide that we will sacrifice a segment of quality time for God each day, we will miss the miracle power of His presence in our life. I’m not talking about religious legalism but rather realizing that having God at the top of our priority list will allow us to accomplish His will.
Why is it that when everything is going well, we forget about prayer? My human nature is constantly tempting me to not worry about taking up my cross and following Jesus, and to focus and channel my energy into all the pleasures and enjoyment which distract me from what is critically important. As this battle rages within me, I’m aware that when I become spiritually lukewarm, it has a devastating negative impact on my life and the eternal futures of those around me. Could it be possible that someone could miss heaven because we did not stand in the gap for them? Whether we want to admit it or not, it is a reality that spending time in the Holy of Holies is the key to understanding and obeying God. However, in order to enter into the depths of spiritual intimacy with Jesus and accomplishing our mission, we must learn that embracing His will includes surrendering ours. Prayer is not trying to change God, but it’s allowing God to change us.
I was updating my prayer journal the other day and was enjoying the time of fellowship with the Lord while also trying to guard against distractions. As many of you know, we become refreshed when we are walking in God’s Spirit. I must include that I was ambushed from several directions and by the end of the day I was in tears. Satan will always target us when we are moving toward God. This aggressive resistance is why many avoid developing a burden to pray. I’m not talking about saying grace over our meal, I’m referring to setting aside a specific time and place each day to meet with God. Yes, there is a cost to being a prayer warrior, but the rewards are priceless. James 5:16 says, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous person avails much.” Within our intimate personal relationship with God, let us realize there is a difference between praising Him and trusting Him. Many are thankful for their blessings and want to escape hardships, but let us beware of only wanting Christ for what He can do for us instead of loving Him just for who He is.
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