Spiritual Disciplines: Prayer
As I wrote last week, spiritual reading can flow very easily into prayer; so let’s go with that flow of the Spirit. First of all, prayer is an active response to God. It comes in many forms but eventually focuses 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 of someone you’re praying for in the blank. Ps. 1:1-3 “Oh, the joys of ____ who does not follow the advice of the wicked or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But ____ delights in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night. ____ is like trees planted along the riverbank, and ____ bears fruit each season. Their leaves never wither and ____ prospers in all he/she does.” Filling in a name may stir up passion for prayer and also faith that God is faithful to His Word. Praying the Scriptures means that you desire His will to be done and 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 an impression He gives you in your heart. He may bring to your attention something He wants you to work on, a troublesome person, or an unmentioned, desire deep in your heart. Write it down, date it, and reread it in the next few weeks. God may be preparing you for something and you’ve already been in prayer about it. Journaling can also be writing down emotions or perspectives that you’re experiencing, consequently, when you write them down you’ll be reminded that the Spirit is changing you, and that’s good. God desires to bring revelation to dark areas of your soul that need His light and journaling 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 all help 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 communicate with God that you may have not experienced. Be reassured, seeking God with a pure heart always brings results: He is faithful.