Saturday, June 2, 2007

The Gift of Prayer

Prayer is an awesome gift from God that many people choose not to open. When I contemplate this gift, words vanish and I stand in awe of God. I find it absolutely incredible that the Creator of the universe and all His hands have made, desires to give His undivided attention, lavishing His everlasting love to me through prayer! Isn't it awesome and almost inconceivable that we can come into His sanctuary and bow before His throne and have His full attention! And even more awesome is the fact that you and I and millions of others can have His full attention at the same time!

We have an incredible gift, the gift of prayer. The Creator who stretched out the heavens above us, flung the stars all into place, poured the mighty oceans that rise and fall, and designed the intricate detail of a butterfly wing, wants to spend time with us in prayer. We do not have to have special permission to enter His throne room. We are never sent away to come back later. We do not have to be announced before we enter. We do not have to be escorted by anyone (Christ already did that for us). We can come into His mighty, awesome presence by prayer at any time.

He already knows us. He knows every thread of our every thought and motive, yet He desires we come to Him to speak heart-to-Heart. He has given us full access to His throne room and Himself anytime, day or night. He is faithfully attentive to the voice of His child. All we have to do is come, just as we are.

God commanded in the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 6:5) that we love Him with all our hearts, with all our souls and with all our strength. Jesus tells us in the New Testament (Matthew 22:37) that this is the greatest commandment. How can we love God to that depth if we don't spend time with Him to fully know Him?

Have you committed yourself to a daily prayer time with God? How I wish I could come into your home, sit with you and tell you of all the amazing ways He has changed my life in such a short time through prayer. Since that is impossible, I encourage you and I challenge you to commit to a daily quiet time and let Him amaze you at all the ways He will transform your life. How do you develop a discipline to daily prayer?

First, repent of any "lukewarm" places in your relationship with Him.-Make a serious commitment to spend daily time with Him, and ask Him to help you keep that commitment. -Then, set your clock 10-15 min. earlier and get up! That is sometimes the hardest part! (I know you have a lot of responsibilities with your family and your sleep is important but 15 minutes is not a huge sacrifice.) I believe we are to follow the example of Christ who awoke early in the morning and went to a solitary place to pray.There is not a right or wrong "recipe" of prayer.

This article will not, nor will any other, teach you the "right way" to pray. Prayer is born out of a need to communicate with the Most High God. How you pray depends on what you are praying about. I will offer some suggestions to help you begin your quiet time, but ask Him to lead you and He will.

1. Use a good devotional.
2. Sign up for Proverbs31 Daily Encouragement devotionals that can come to you through email. If you don't have a computer, purchase a devotional book.
3. Read through a Book of the Bible in short daily readings. Begin with the Book of John or the Psalms.
4. Pray honestly about anything and everything on your heart.
5) Ask for forgiveness for any sins you have committed.
6) Praise Him! Praise Him for who He is and what He is. Your growing love for Jesus will cause your heart to sing His praises all through the day.
7) Listen to anything He reveals to you during this time or anytime throughout the day. Discipline yourself to listen to the Shepherd's voice. (John 10:1-4)
8) Keep a journal of the transformations He makes in your life. This journal will serve as a great faith builder and encouragement to you later.
9) Remember to carry prayer throughout the day even when your quiet time is over. I am already excitedly anticipating all the changes God will make in your life, and I'm praising Him in advance! Be committed. I will be praying for you!