Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Where? In Prayer.

Psalms 121

I lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun will not smite you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
The Lord will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in From this time forth and forever.

"Prayer is not a substitute for hard work—prayer is the work! God does things in and through our lives by prayer that He does in no other way. As we pray and as our attention is turned toward God, we become more receptive to aligning our lives with His will. God will not equip us with His power while we are racing off to our next appointment!
His Spirit will not empower us if we are oblivious to what He is saying.
He requires our complete attention before He will fill us with the powerful presence of His Spirit. If you want to learn how to pray, use Jesus as your model. Jesus did not always receive what He asked for, but His prayers were always heard and always answered (Mark 14:36; Heb. 5:7). If you do not sense the Holy Spirit's power in your life, you may not be spending adequate time in prayer. Perhaps you are pursuing your own agenda rather than seeking the Father's will. You may have abandoned the place of prayer before God's answer came. If you will commit yourself to spend sustained time in prayer, asking for God's kingdom on earth, God will work in your life just as He did in the lives of Jesus and His disciples."
- Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day

I awoke to the Casting Crowns song based on Psalms 121.  Rather than the lyrics I took us to where the song came from.   It was interesting to me that part of my devotionals were in the same mode of thinking. 

If I have learned anything at all in the last 6 years of the storms of life is that God's still here and is still teaching me how to pray. 

Praying isn't a grocery list for God. 
Prayer isn't a one time life preserver when faced with an impossible task or urgent need.
Prayer isn't a chore whereby we repeat the same words over and over with no feelings behind them.
Prayer isn't a utensil we get out like a swiss army knife on certain occasions to deal with things.

Prayer is a very special very unique way for Children of God to talk directly with the Creator of the Universe.

It is an honor granted to believers in Christ Jesus who have been saved by the blood of Jesus. 

It's the heart of the relationship between them and their God.

That's what prayer is.

We all have done it.  We have all trivialized prayer at one moment or another.  Notice that I didn't say at one time or another.

Prayers are by moment, not by time periods.

Jesus came into our hearts with His sleeves rolled up to begin a new work in us. It's emotional, it's Spiritual, and at times it's physical.  It's extremely personal.  It's supposed to be!

It's not some flippant phrase we hear people utter in disbelief or in a curse.

People realize when anyone says '"Oh God!" Or "Jesus Christ!" They indeed are getting the attention of the very one whom they mentioned.  He wasn't joking when He said Do not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

To say either of those names draws His attention and to hear His Name used in a derogatory manner...well...people aren't doing themselves any favors.  In the day of judgement every instance will be brought up.

Prayer is as much as part of breathing as air is to breathing. 

As I mentioned's intensely personal.  It's intimate.  Look at Moses. He spent so much time with the Lord it affected him physically.  His face glowed.
Look at Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. His prayers were so intense He was sweating drops of blood.
Look at the mother of Samuel.  The intensity of how personal it was made the priest of the day think she was drunk.

When we bear one another's burdens it by definition has to include prayer. 

I have been seeing my prayer life growing to where I have been talking while driving.  Why not? Jesus is there.  He's my friend and closest brother as Scripture says.  Why would I try to keep to myself what He already knows?

Look at your life.  How much of your day is spent with Jesus?  2 minutes? Make them count.  2 seconds?  Better rethink your priorities.  None?  Tells me you have only one priority and it isn't God.  When you were saved it wasn't a get out of Hell free card you received so that you could live however you wanted.  Take up your cross and follow Him.  Means His will takes priority in your life.  How will you know what that is if you aren't going to Him in prayer?

Think about it. This is between you and God.   Just how serious are you about being a Christian?  Jesus was serious enough to die for you.  Show Him the same.

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