Practical Steps – Prayer

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Some may not think this should be the next “practical step” to take but I believe it is.

 Jeremiah tells us in 33:3 ESV, “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.”

By praying God reveals Himself to us.

Jesus prayed!  If Jesus prayed, even thought He was the Son of God, how much more do we need to pray?

Jesus began His ministry here on earth with prayer.  “Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened.  And the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” Luke 3:21 ESV. The Word doesn’t tell us what Jesus was praying for at this time, but God anointed Jesus with the power of the Holy Spirit.  If God thought Jesus needed the anointing of the Holy Spirit, then how much more do we need this blessing?  The way to receive this blessing of the Holy Spirit is to pray and ask God for it.

We need to follow Jesus’ footsteps on this journey.  Jesus prayed, seeking God’s guidance, God’s grace, and God’s strength in prayer.

By praying we open our hearts, our minds and souls, allowing the Holy Spirit to work within us leading us to the truth and light of God’s Word.

On this journey we are building a relationship with God, our Father.  What is the first rule of any relationship?  Good communication.  Prayer is the way we communicate with God, through the Holy Spirit. I know in the beginning of this journey, I was so confused on the “right’ way to pray, I bet some of you have too.  I spent hours thinking of words, of trying to figure it all out.  I didn’t think I was a “prayer warrior”.   I wasn’t allowing the Holy Spirit to lead me (yes, that control issue again!).   Paul tells us in Romans 8:26 ESV, “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness.  For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”  We don’t need to have exact words, we need to allow the Holy Spirit to intercede for us, we just need so speak from the very depths of our hearts.  Whew, what I relief it was when I understood that!  It’s not all up to me to have the “right” words.

When we pray, and ask, God reveals Himself to us.  David tells us in Psalm 143:10 ESV, ” Teach me to do your will, for you are my God!  Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground!”  As God shows us more and more about who He is, His perfect will begin working in our own life.  God will begin to deepen our understanding, deepening our faith and desire to walk closer with Him.

As I began this journey, I was at the end of what I knew.  My life, as I had once known it, was gone.  There always seemed to be more questions than answers when I prayed.  God wants us to bring our needs, our burdens, our pain to Him in prayer. Matthew tells us in 11:28 ESV, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” I prayed everyday, all day.  I asked Him to reveal Himself to me.  I asked for understanding, for guidance.

I realized God had been revealing Himself to me all along, I just hadn’t been listening. I was expecting a huge eruption, a lightning bolt out of the sky leading me. Once I opened myself up to the power of prayer, releasing all my preconceived notions, I became open to know God, I became open to learning the ways that God works.  I knew He was more than able to bring victory to my challenges.  I learned it’s up to me to keep the lines of communication open, between He and I, to keep my heart and mind focused on Him.

God answers prayers, all prayers.  He may not answer the way we try to demand of Him but He answers all prayers according to His will.  James 5:16b ESV, tells us, “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”  As I learned to ‘get over myself” and pray for guidance and understanding God answered in ways that I could never have even thought of asking for on my own!  Believe when I say, what we “think” we need and want is so much tinier than God has planned for us!  We can’t even begin to imagine the magnificent blessings He wants for us, His children!  I don’t want to limit God working my life by asking for anything but His will!  God’s wisdom far exceeds our own.

The closer we draw to our Father the more we come to understand that we have limitations on what we can do for ourselves. God wants to give us wisdom and understanding through prayer.  “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach and it will be given to you,” James 1:5 ESV.  How wonderful is our Father!  He will give us answers if we would only quiet down, listen and obey!

 Praying shows our faith in God, that we believe the promises in His Word.  That God will bless us in ways we could never have asked for or hoped for!

As God commands us in His Word, “Pray without ceasing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17 ESV

 

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