So much of my devotional and quiet time this weekend points to “priorities”. I was reading this morning from “Our Journey” a devotional of Walk in the Word and Pastor James McDonald. The devotion talks about Abraham’s obedience-even to his willingness to sacrifice the “son of promise”, Isaac.
I confess that while my heart’s desire is to keep God #1, the daily rigors and “to do list” of my life too often takes precedence over spiritual disciplines. Don’t get me wrong, I daily spend at least a few minutes in prayer and devotional reading. I believe that my life, in general, mirrors the love of Christ and loving God. What nags at my heart is that there are times when, in making choices-I question my motives.
This is especially true in my prayer life. Daily, I pray-sometimes as brief as saying the Lord’s prayer. Too often, to my mind, it seems almost mechanical-just another thing I can check off my “to do” list. Sure, there is usually at least one day a week when its all out, on my knees, PRAYER…and I love it! Unfortunately, IMHO, really talking, worshipping and fellowshipping with my Lord is the exception and not the rule. So, to improve on this I have committed to get up a little earlier each and every morning before my beloved gets up (privacy is one of my excuses) and instead of rushing to email or Facebook I will pray first!
Another thing the Lord has shown me is that in speaking of His many blessings I usually just say “I’ve been blessed” and to me it seems that I don’t often say WHO provided the blessing and giving the Lord the glory. True, the majority of those who know me, also know that I’m a Christian, and I assume they also know by inference that it is Jesus who has blessed me. Thankfully, my cube mate is also a believer, so I KNOW she KNOWS …but I feel sometimes that I’m intentionally hiding His glory. It feels wrong to me! So, to make it right, I pray –and hope readers will pray also, that I may be bolder and say it out loud!! JESUS blessed me!!!!
Lastly, for some time, the Lord has been showing me that He’d like to spend more time with me! This was made even more apparent in this week’s message at LifeChurch (Church ONLINE!). The series is “Elijah”. Something that was especially significant to me, this week, is that while I see him as a prophet and called specifically by God, he was also an ordinary person-just like me. Pastor Brandon taught us about four qualities/characteristics of effective prayer that really spoke to my desire for a better time of prayer.
- First-humility in prayer. It is the posture/attitude of our hearts that God sees. Not words mumbled as part of a routine. After all, in praying, we are speaking to the King of the Universe! So, approach Him in the manner He deserves.
- Next, specificity in prayers. I’m not talking about the “name it and claim it-genie in a god” sort, but really crying out to the Lord-praying heartfully, remembering that in prayer, we are in His presence.
- Thirdly, be persistent! Elijah sent his servant seven times before he was satisfied. Paul, in asking that his thorn be removed, prayed three times. And our Lord Jesus, in the garden before His crucifixion also prayed multiple times that the cup be removed from Him.
- Lastly, pray expectantly! In faith, wait on the Lord. Jesus said (Mark 11:24) “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” One of the most awesome promises of God is that He hears us! He may say “yes” or “no” or “wait” but He will answer.
That being said, its getting near the time for 11 AM (EDT) services! Jesus has blessed me with the privilege of serving on the “Live Prayer” team for this Experience time. Hope to see you there!