Spiritual Disciplines: Prayer
As I wrote last week, spiritual reading can flow very easily into prayer; so let’s go with the flow of the Spirit. First of all, prayer is an active response to God. It comes in many forms but it is eventually focused on Him. We want to worship, be thankful, petition, intercede for someone, or hear Him speak to us. It’s a necessary part of our spiritual life and God desires us to delve into it. Let’s look at several examples:
• Praying the Scriptures- select a scripture that speaks to your need. Personalize it with a name in the appropriate place. Ps. 1:1-3 “Oh, the joys of ____ who do not follow the advice of the wicked or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But ____ delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night. ____ are like trees planted along the riverbank, and ____ bears fruit each season. Their leaves never wither and ____ prosper in all they do.” I find filling in a name stirs up my passion for prayer and also my faith that God is faithful to His Word. Praying the Scriptures means that you desire His will to be done and you are willing to wait for the answer.
• Journaling- God’s Word often speaks of listening to Him. Since we typically don’t hear an audible voice it may be helpful to write down what you sense He is saying in your heart. He may bring to your attention something He wants you to work on, a person you are having trouble with, or a desire deep in your heart that you haven’t even mentioned. Write it down, date it, and reread in the next few weeks. See if God wasn’t preparing you for something. Journaling can also be writing down emotions or perspectives that you’re unhappy with, consequently, when you write them down you will be reminded as you recognize the Spirit changing you. God desires to bring revelation to dark areas of your soul that need His light and a journal will help track the changes in your heart.
• Imaging- God has given us an incredible gift of imagination. Picturing ourselves sitting with the Savior when you need a friend, cuddled up on His lap as a child when you need a Father’s love, or seeing in your spirit the answer to a prayer that you envision helps build your faith. Sit quietly and allow His presence to fill you. Visualize the peace of God as oil flowing down from heaven; it will heal the pain of broken relationships, restore the joy of your salvation, penetrate your defense systems, and even clean old wounds that have been festering. You are NOT trying to manufacture results but getting in touch with Jesus Christ as your Healer and Restorer.
These are just three examples of ways to experience God through prayer that possibly you have never tried. Be reassured, seeking God with a pure heart always brings results: He is faithful.