Early in my life, my grandmother gave me the bookmark that appears in this photo. The poem talks about meeting God in the morning so as to have him through the day, reflecting the author’s delight in the presence and sufficiency of his God. With such a great treasure to be claimed, I wonder why so many professing Christians seem to have settled into a less fulfilling relationship with God.
Maybe what’s missing is the holy thread that God desires to weave from his Word, into our prayers and through our souls. Maybe we’re holding back from becoming living sacrifices whose minds are set on discerning the will of God. Maybe we pray without the benefit of faith, trust, or the expectation of God’s redirection and answers, choosing instead to go about our business in reliance on ourselves.
Contrary to popular belief, God did not give us prayer as a spiritual duty or as a dedicated channel for making sure our wish lists get to him. Prayer is intended to be an ongoing, all-encompassing and deliberate divine dialog with our Creator. In prayer we have the opportunity to pour out our hearts to the one who alone can satisfy. Even more important, prayer provides an opportunity for us to hear from God!
Scripture teaches that, as followers of Christ, we are not our own—we belong to God and are called to imitate Jesus.  But only by the power of the Holy Spirit working in us through the Word, prayer and Christian community can we come into conformity with our Savior. This transformation is serious business, yet so many professing Christians don’t seem to know that Jesus meant it when he said to abide in him or that praying without ceasing is essential for keeping our wandering hearts bound to his.
Praying without ceasing doesn’t require praying about every little thing, of course. We also don’t need to seek God’s will in the things he has made clear in his Word. Praying without ceasing is dependent upon orienting our hearts to God’s, such that we sense and respond to opportunities and needs for prayer as prompted by the Spirit throughout the day. We also should be continually watching for his answers to our prayers, asking for his help to discern and submit to his guidance.
These brief prayers, though, need to be grounded in dedicated, disciplined prayer each morning. In order to live as followers of Christ, we need this focus on prayer as we look to him in all things and at all times. We NEED his guidance, strength, assurance, acceptance, love, grace, wisdom, forgiveness and the confident anticipation of eternity with him. And there’s something about making prayer the highest priority of our day that signals our trust in God. In response to that trust, God provides peace, strength, and wisdom for the day.
I mentioned in the previous post the practice of praying the words of Scripture for ourselves and others. We know that God will accomplish what he has spoken and that, by using his words in our prayers, we’re sure to be praying for things that are in line with in his will. I’ll always recall the awareness of the Lord’s power I felt when a friend prayed for our family in response to concern about one of my pregnancies. She prayed Scripture, lots of it, with her hands on my belly. I’d never experienced anything like it and knew that I needed to learn how to do this for our family and for others. “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”
As we converse with the Lord, we need to remember that Christian prayer is an encounter with the sovereign God—the One we trust in, the One we choose to live for, the One who knows our bad sides and loves us anyway, and the One who has great plans for us, to give us a future and a hope. Time spent communicating with the Lord never is wasted. Time spent in prayer is a certain investment in eternity.
But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit,keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.
- Do your prayers reflect a heart that seeks and is ready to submit to God’s will? If not, ask God to align your heart with his.
- Ask God to bring your prayer life into greater alignment with his will. (We all need God’s help with this throughout our lives, as the journey to become like Christ is a progression.)
Dear Lord, please help me to trust you with all my heart, not leaning on my own understanding. Increase my humility and help me to acknowledge you in all things, confident that your ways are superior to mine.
EXCERPTS READY TO SHARE (copy and paste)
- God desires to weave a holy thread from his Word, into our prayers and through our souls. https://karenlindia.com/2016/12/14/seeking-jesus-through-prayer/
- Prayer is intended to be an ongoing, all-encompassing and deliberate divine dialog with our Creator. https://karenlindia.com/2016/12/14/seeking-jesus-through-prayer/
- Jesus meant it when he said to abide in him, and praying w/o ceasing is essential to keep our hearts bound to his. https://karenlindia.com/2016/12/14/seeking-jesus-through-prayer/
- Time spent in prayer is a certain investment in eternity. https://karenlindia.com/2016/12/14/seeking-jesus-through-prayer/
If you would like information on the ACTS model for prayer, a great explanation appears on http://www.ligonier.org. The importance of right prioritization of and attention to each of these elements of prayer cannot be overemphasized, as they set our heart and priorities in alignment with God’s and help us to recognize that his will is more desirable than our own.
 Quality Woven Bookmark, Carroll Good, Inc., New York 7, NY.
 James 5:16