Browsing Tag:

prayer

the wonder of simple prayers

Posted in faith

“Prayer is the quiet, persistent living of our life of desire and faith in the presence of our God.” Andrew Murray

The Bible says we have God’s Spirit inside us. In other words, there is someone by your side every moment of every day. And even more amazing, this someone is purely good and perfectly wise and beautifully kind and insanely powerful and loves you unconditionally.

Why wouldn’t we share every detail with this person?

My answer to that question, though difficult to admit, is I get distracted by lesser things, or I’m so absorbed with myself that I don’t think of anyone else, or sin deafens my desire to share, or I’m juggling so many expectations and tasks I never still long enough to listen. I read that sentence, and I repent.

The gift of prayer, of ongoing conversation with infinite, holy, all-knowing God, reigning King Jesus, and Counselor Holy Spirit, is a gift I take for granted too often. And there’s a need for right understanding of this exchange. He’s not asking for long monologues and formal phrasing. He’s not expecting a pretty appearance or perfect grammar. Like I told my middle schoolers last Sunday, a way we worship is by confessing our need of Him. God is not glorified when He’s made small in our minds.

You do not need to swindle yourself into thinking that you are strong. You can face your weakness with joy because you know that you have been given grace for that weakness; grace that is not a thing, but a person—the Holy Spirit, who makes you the place where he dwells in power. Paul David Tripp

A way to magnify God’s greatness, care, and love is to invite Him into every decision, conversation, and circumstance.

I’ll paint a recent scenario for you. The morning of a meeting I know will result in awkwardness and honesty, I ask for God’s help in preparing what to say. At the table, I visualize Him sitting in the chair next to me. While others are speaking, I wait patiently, peacefully, awaiting His ‘cue’ to voice my opinion. Dialogue ensues. I lean over and ask what He thinks the topic, and I listen. The conversation ends, having had it’s uncomfortable but healthy interactions, and I see His smile, affirming He’s in control and I did well. In a situation I deemed a little trivial, something I would handle on my own, God worked with me. He helped me, and I could sense the difference it made. I actively engaged with His power and presence, and it turned a big gear inside me.

This could be our everyday experience. We may not perceive Him clearly or even feel His presence, but the Bible promises He is with us (2 Timothy 1:14). Some days will take greater faith than others, but I have no doubt the habit of sharing and listening will produce beautiful fruit in our lives.

Continue reading

the importance of ongoing prayer

Posted in faith

“For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul He fills with good things.” Psalm 107:9

This year I have gone through a lot of change… I mean a lot. If I were to list the major life changes, emotional changes, and season changes I have gone through this year, you wouldn’t believe me. I might not even believe me!

However, throughout this year, I have learned one very, very important piece of my spiritual journey with Jesus – ongoing prayer.

See, prayer is what keeps us in contact with God. Prayer is the tool we use to combat the lies of Satan, it’s the gateway to a growing relationship with our Savior, and it’s the mechanism we use to keep our hearts and emotions in tune and in check with the truth of God (2 Chronicles 7:14, Ephesians 6:18,James 5:13, Matthew 26:41, etc.).

Until summer of this year, I never understood how critical prayer is to my life. This all changed when I was at a baby shower (seriously… could y’all have any more babies right now), and I ran into a girl whose car Dylan and I bought off the side of the road in September of last year. I knew of her through our 30 minute encounter where we handed her cash and drove off with her car (ha!). So, I run into this girl and we strike up immediate spiritual conversation.

Throughout our two hour talk I felt the Lord pressing on me to reach out to her after the baby shower and learn more about her life, which lead to me learning about her mission. I later learned that Lauren (author of two of the most powerful prayer devotional books ever written – link at the bottom) was on a mission of teaching women to pray through prayer journaling. I couldn’t contain myself when I learned this!

Continue reading

the practice of internal wonder

Posted in faith

Internal stillness takes practice. It is the fruit of hiddenness — a life that’s lived looking at God, a life of wonder in Him — and it needs to be cultivated. Sara Hagerty, Unseen

Do you ever feel tempted to make your relationship with God about appearances or productivity?

It can sometimes happen unknowingly, and the mindset shift can be stealthy. It sometimes happens under the guise of church activity or mentorship, even bible study and service.

God continues to bring the story of Mary and Martha in Luke to my mind.

As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42

Martha, perhaps busying herself with tasks she had deemed more important than gazing at Jesus. She might have even had that internal warring going on many of us can relate to: so many people in my home, it needs to be clean…. I need to appear productive and making things happen…. I wonder what that person is thinking about me… These things need to be done first, then I’ll listen to Jesus.

Can you relate?

I can.

The tendency to believe the lie that work done for God is more important than my friendship with and love for Him.

But I think a greater truth is that our unseen time with Him is what makes all the difference.

Continue reading