We just wrapped up a bible study on the subject of prayer at church. I have been challenged and stretched in the most beautiful way. I’ve been a Christ Follower almost all my life. I was raised in church and I have gained knowledge throughout my years of sitting under several influential leaders and speakers and through my own studying of scripture. I feel honored to have opportunities to teach God’s Word and share from my heart and I often do. Yet I find myself being so content in this season of life being a student. Never in my life have I been more hungry for God and thirsty for the sound of His voice.
The pasts few weeks of delving into the subject of prayer have been so good for me and has left me changed. For the better. Prayer is simply talking to Him. So many times we think it has to be something proper, something eloquent. We feel the need to talk in a manner that isn’t like what we normally would. Who are we trying to impress? God already knows all about us and sees our heart. He knows our motive, He knows how we think, He sees every tear. He knows our names and He even knows the number of hairs on our head. Scripture says,”Who am I that You are mindful of me? ”
How unfathomable is it that the God of this universe cares for me and loves me so? It makes me want to deeply know Him in return. Love responds to love. His deep calls out to my deep. I have been challenged to pray about everything, to pray without ceasing. When we pray without ceasing we aren’t literally praying 24/7. I think what the scripture is intending is for us to simply talk to God about everything and make Him a big part of our everyday life.
For example, in the morning when I wake up I can say, Good morning Lord! I love you! Thank You for this day. What would you have me do today? Where would you have me go? Lead me by the power of Your Spirit. Allow me to cross paths with someone who needs You, Jesus. Help me at work today. Protect me and my family. Be with my children. Help me say the right things at my meeting at work. Before I eat I’ll say, thank you for this food, Lord. In the car while driving I’ll pray to make it safely from point A to point B. Let me be successful in my endeavors today as You lead me to all wisdom and truth. At night before bed, I’ll pray over my children.
Do this and before you know it, you are praying without ceasing! There are times that I have scheduled prayer and spend my quiet time with Jesus. Then there is spontaneous prayer, like the examples above, where I am just abiding in Jesus and talking to Him on the regular. On the daily. Don’t make it a religious complicated thing. Think of it like a conversation. A powerful one!
Ask Him what He thinks about your current life situation. How should I respond to this person? How should I conduct myself in this business deal? How can I minister to my children today so they will see You, Jesus? Whatever your prayers may be, I assure you, He answers if you listen. Scripture says, “Seek and you will find. Ask and you shall receive. Knock and the door will be opened to you.” It also says that God is perfecting (taking care) of all that concerns you.
When I talk to Him, I am careful to listen for Him even more. I want to be close enough to hear His voice. One word from Him changes EVERYTHING. When He speaks to me, I cannot believe it! I marvel. The one who created this very heart of mine speaks to it and it’s like a drink of water in the desert.
A conversation consists of speaking and listening. When I pray, He responds back. When God speaks to me, I respond back to Him. I am still amazed that I can come boldly to Him and that He actually hears me and answers. I’m left speechless that He longs to have fellowship with me. Me! He loves me and you and it’s overwhelming! Sometimes the Lord speaks straight to my heart. Other times I may see a beautiful flower or a sunrise and I am reminded of His steadfast love. When I look into the eyes of my children, I am brought to tears by His faithfulness and His promises. It changes me. It sustains me until He speaks to me again. I crave His voice and presence and the more I pray the closer I get. The closer I get, the more I learn His heart. He already knows mine.
I encourage you today, just open up your mouth and start talking. Include God in every thing you do and every decision you make. The One who created you knows what’s good for you. I challenge you as I have been challenged to pray without ceasing so we may know the very heart of the Father and learn to delight in the glory of His presence.
In closing, and in true Stephanie fashion… an old hymn comes to mind.
Now let us have a little talk with Jesus. Tell Him all about our trouble. He will hear our faintest cry. He will answer by and by. When you feel a little prayer wheel turning. Know a little fire is burning. Just a little talk with Jesus makes it right.