Greetings my dear friends, fellow-bloggers, and followers!
I wish you a tremendously blessed year of spiritual growth, victory, and peace!
I’m interested in your prayer life.
Because I agree with Charles Spurgeon, an eminent man of God, who said:
Prayer is the vessel that trades with heaven and comes home from the celestial country laden with treasures of far greater worth than [any] Spanish galleon brought from the land of gold.
Isn’t that a beautiful picture? Does it not elevate the perception of prayer as a boring, dry, or dutiful exercise?
As ‘born-again’ believers, God invites us to trade our anxieties for his supernatural peace. In Isaiah 55, He invites us to buy wine (intoxicating joy) and milk (spiritual sustenance) without price and encourages us to delight our souls in abundance.
In terms of genuine spiritual experience, are you there dear friend? Are you at peace? Are you truly joyful, irrespective of whatever is going on in your life? Are you enjoying a rich life of fulfilment?
Does your prayer life look like Spurgeon’s description above, or would you more describe it as a small dinghy that has capsized in an ocean of troubles, or is forever circling within a river of discontent?
If you are aware that your prayer life is just not where it should be and you would like to do something about it, allow me to share the following suggestions, which I trust will move you towards that desired result.
- Observe Heavenly Protocol (click here to read a related in-depth post)
Psalm 100:1-4 lets us know that there’s a prescribed protocol for coming into God’s presence. That protocol is thanksgiving followed by praise. So don’t just turn up with a wish list or spew out bitter complaints.
Recognise that you are approaching an awesome and holy God. Treat him with the same honour and respect that you would give to any earthly dignitary. If you are not sure how to, or run out of fresh ideas, the psalms are littered with tributes and paeans, which you can borrow to express your heart.
- Come In Faith and With an Expectant Heart
As human beings, we are generally people-pleasers. We want to get along with those within our acquaintance circle. Whether the boss or our colleagues, friends, family, or neighbours, we can spend a lot of our time either appeasing or pleasing them.
There are those who worship false gods and because they have only a one-sided relationship with these ‘gods’, they are often in the position of trying to appease them or hoping to gain their favour.
Not so with God! He is not only accessible and approachable, he is favourably disposed towards you. He has your best interests and welfare as a primary concern, upon his heart. He does however require you to have faith in and trust Him. If you want to please God, then have faith in his Word, in his promises, in his ability to help you whatever the problem (see Hebrews 11:6).
Perhaps we find it difficult putting complete trust in a God we cannot see. Yet, when it comes to our everyday life, we will often place our confidence and trust in people we’ve never seen and know nothing about their character or background. Take for example, an aircraft pilot. How many times have you run a background check on him/her before flying? My guess is: never! We put our trust in the airline that has employed him/her and we take it for granted that this person has passed the necessary tests, has the necessary experience, and will not do anything to endanger passengers.
Dear friend, the God who created this universe, who upholds and runs its entire existence merely by the power of his word, the one who knew you before you were even conceived in your mother’s womb, the one who came up with his ingenious plan of salvation, the one who knows the end from the beginning, the one who is able to cause all things that happen in our lives to work together for our good, is surely worthy of our trust. He has proved his character and ability again, and again, and again.
If you have been a Christian for any length of time, you know that God is good, loving, kind, capable and has an unimpeachable character. You know it from reading His Word, and you know it from personal experience. Do you know anyone who’d sacrifice their beloved child to die for someone else (whether good or bad), let alone for the entire world? Again, my guess is: probably not!
In Romans 8:32, we are told that:
He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
Based on this verse of scripture alone, I believe God has fully earned our trust – don’t you?
- Invite the Lord to search your heart
As a commuter travelling into work 5 days a week by public transport, when it came to my face cleansing routine, I noticed a big difference at weekends – there was less grime! And travelling at close quarters with other commuters meant that if there were colds or flu going around, there was a fair chance I’d catch it.
As fellow citizens in this world (yet not of it!), our journey in life means that the same susceptibility to absorbing grime (sinful attitudes) or catching undesirable infections (ungodly thoughts or desires) applies to us. Relationships with others demand that we rub-up against them, so we are certainly not immune to contagious germs such as anger, pride, strife, or temptation.
1 John 3:21 tells us that if our heart does not condemn us then we can have confidence toward God. Since we are often blind to our own faults and shortcomings, asking the Lord to search our hearts should be a necessary feature of our prayer lives.
A good prayer to use from God’s Word is the one King David penned:
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.(Psalm 139: 23-24 NKJV)
To be continued…
I realise this is a long read, so to anyone who stuck with me to the end, I thank you for your patience and for honouring me with your time and attention. I do hope you will join me for Part 2.
Carol E. Hind – Author/Blogger/Prayer Advocate
The effectual, fervent prayer avails much!
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