07 September 2006

Prayer

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. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27)
Much of my prayer has never been verbal. When I bow my head and try to put to words what is in my heart, it never comes out right (or it doesn't come out at all). This frustrates me because I rarely am at a loss for words. (Those of you who know me well are probably laughing to yourselves.)

Some people can pour forth the most beautiful prayers, but I never seem to find my voice when I'm before the Lord in prayer. It is the one time I am mute. But is that such a bad thing?
For God alone my soul waits in silence; from Him comes my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken. For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him. (Psalm 62:1-2,5)

It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. Let him sit alone in silence when it is laid on him; let him put his mouth in the dust -- there may yet be hope. (Lamentations 3:27-29)

Be silent, all flesh, before the LORD, for he has roused himself from his holy dwelling. (Zechariah 2:13)

Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few. (Ecclesiastes 5:2)
For me, writing is the best way to express myself and communicate my ideas (hence the incessant blogging). I often say that "my pen is bolder than my tongue." Since the age of thirteen I have written out my prayers to the Lord. My bookshelf is full of volumes of "letters to God" that I have written over the years.

The most amazing thing to see is how God specifically answered my prayers. Even in the journal I am currently keeping -- I can look through the pages and read how God almost immediately answered my prayers (as soon as the next day).

Over the past six months -- and especially this summer -- the Lord has revolutionized my prayer life. Often my prayers were solely requests or ventings to God, but more recently the Lord has aligned my requests with the workings of the Spirit -- no longer frustrated or selfish requests, but requests for His will to be done instead of mine. And the outcomes are incredible.

Once the Lord brought me to this state of constant, daily surrender I began to see just how He works in prayer. It's not that all of the sudden God is finally listening to me and answering my prayers -- He brought me within the boundaries of His will and led my prayers to follow the path of His Spirit. I would pray specifically for something to happen and by the next day my specific prayer was specifically answered -- I kid you not.

What a difference from the current viewpoint of Evangelical Americans! We have books like "The Prayer of Jabez" and "The Lost Secrets of Prayer" that offer suggestions on how to press God's buttons to get what we want. One book title especially blows my mind -- "Breakthrough Prayer: The Secret of Receiving What You Need From God."

There are no secrets to a successful prayer life. God plainly tells us in His Word...
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:33)

Pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18)
When you find yourself in the Lord's will, you will find your prayers lining up with His will. It's a truly amazing experience to be used by the Lord in such a way! What glory that brings Him!

2 Comments:

At 07 September, 2006 12:37, Blogger Barbara said...

Now I'M having a deja vu moment!

 
At 07 September, 2006 12:54, Blogger Carey said...

Is that how you spell it?

 

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