seek prayer always
Everyone has a story to tell. When we make the connection between our story and God's great story, we come away with HIStory, which involves each and every one of us.
Jesus' beautiful prayer during the Sermon on the Mount was one of the first passages I memorized as a child, along with John 3:16! These certainly are passages that have been carved in my heart for eternity. So I'm finding lately that The Lord is taking me back to these passages. I'm finding all these little nuggets in His Word that I had not found before. I'm learning that this is the beauty of God's Word, it speaks to us time and time again. It never changes, but if our hearts are willing to change, to glorify Him, His Word falls afresh on us. Its aroma feeds our souls and gives us the strength we need.
As you may have read a few weeks ago, The Lord spoke to me specifically about seclusion and I wrote the post titled "Seclusion." It refers to the time Elizabeth was in solitude during a five-month period during her pregnancy with John the Baptist. The Lord called her to a time of solitude so He could speak to her. As I was reading The Lord's prayer from the Sermon on the Mount this morning, this idea of quiet time with The Lord became evident, yet again.
6 But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. 7 “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. 8 Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!
- Matthew 6:9-13
Like Jesus left the crowds during His ministry here on earth to speak to His Father by Himself, we should do the same. Find a quiet place in your home, bedroom, car, bathroom, wherever is fitting.
When you have found this space, enter God's presence with heartfelt, sincere, humble prayer. God desires our hearts. He doesn't want us to follow tradition and be "religious" but rather honest, He doesn't want us to "boast" but rather be humble, He doesn't want us to "babble" but rather speak from our heart.
A few months ago my husband and I had a wonderful conversation about prayer. The discussion was around praying out loud vs. praying quietly. I was accustomed to praying aloud and in small groups, so naturally this is how I wanted us to come to prayer in our marriage. He, on the other hand, was more accustomed to praying in solitude. He was used to a much more private encounter with our Lord. While I now believe that praying in groups is not only beautiful but refreshing and necessary, the practice of private and direct prayer with The Lord is important to our Father. Jesus encourages us to carve out space and time to be in direct communication with Him. How should we do this?
9Pray like this:
Our Father in heaven,
may your name be kept holy.
10 May your Kingdom come soon.
May your will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today the food we need,
12 and forgive us our sins,
as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
13 And don’t let us yield to temptation,
but rescue us from the evil one.
Let us enter His presence in gratitude. May our prayers be filled with thanksgiving and praise to our Heavenly Father.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the Lord is good.
His unfailing love continues forever,
and his faithfulness continues to each generation.
"Worry never empties tomorrow of its sorrow, but it does emtpy it of its strength. Don't let anyone rob you of your confidence in God. Know His Word. Hold on to His hand. He will make your impossible mission possible and your life so much more than bearable.
- Barbara Johnson
HE is saying, "Come to Me."