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I'm just a girl trying to keep an eternal perspective on life, and live it to the fullest :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Why Pray?

In Philip Yancey’s book Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference?, he writes:

Teach me, O God, so to use all the circumstances of my life today that they may bring forth in me the fruits of holiness rather than the fruits of sin.

Wow, this is powerful. 
If we let God direct us, instead of our circumstances, His power and His love living through us could move mountains!
May this always be my heart's prayer. 
He then quotes author John Baillie in his Diary of Private Prayer:
Let me use disappointment as material for patience;
Let me use success as material for thankfulness;
Let me use suspense as material for perseverance;
Let me use danger as material for courage;
Let me use reproach as material for long suffering;
Let me use praise as material for humility;
Let me use pleasures as material for temperance;
Let me use pains as material for endurance.

Yancey goes on to mention the book Prayers of the Martyrs. The prayers of those willing to die for their faith in Christ are not "petitionary" prayers, but instead are "relational" prayers. 

Can I humble my spirit enough to allow God's Spirit to accomplish His purposes through me even if it means going through unwelcome circumstances? 

Are you in love with Jesus? Really in love?

Here's a real-life situation to perhaps help you see your relationship with God in a new light: 

If you phone your close friend (one who really knows your heart), do you first start ranting off requests to him/her? No, you talk about what's going on in your life. You listen to what's happening in his/hers. You are "relational" with each other. 

To have a healthy relationship, both individuals need to be able to listen, and be listened to.  Like the Marvin Gaye sings, it takes two. 

While we are here on earth, even our closest friends and people we look up to will probably let us down, and may even walk out of our lives. Fortunately, God always knows best and will never leave us (although we are allowed to walk away from Him if we choose). He is always standing with open arms despite how many times we neglect or abuse Him. 

I believe relational prayer is the foundation of a healthy prayer life. Putting God first doesn't just mean that you subconsciously acknowledge Him. It means you actively seek Him through prayer, and by reading His Word. If we aren't praying the way God intends us to, we won't fully reap the benefits of how amazing communicating with the God of the Universe can be! He is BIG and omnipresent, but He still loves each one of us individually, intimately and passionately! He longs for our hearts to coincide with His!

To learn more about communicating with Jesus, next to reading The Bible, I highly recommend reading The PAPA Prayer. This book has really opened my eyes regarding prayer, and seeking Him as He desires us to. Another good article is from Dr. Charles Stanley on reading God's Word and knowing Him @ Read It.

I'm praying for us to really know God today and everyday. 

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