Each month I want to take a journey with my readers on one topic. Each Tuesday will be devoted to an in depth study of a book of the Bible, a specific topic, or an aspect of this Journey to Grace. I am confident, though, that this is more about me taking time to draw closer to Him and learn a lesson that I can share with you, than it is about anything I could ever possibly teach you from my own discoveries.
The Month of March is devoted to Prayer. I will be posting something new about the topic of Prayer each Tuesday. I hope you’ll join me on the journey.
In my 20 years of walking with the Lord, I have always been drawn to the art of intercession. If you were to ask me who I was, early on in my Christian walk, I answer assuredly, “A prayer warrior.” I was purposeful and intentional about going into battle with guns a ‘blazing and my Bible promises backing me up with every petition that I had on my list. I spent hours writing down every single Bible Verse on the prayer need before me and then I would take that to my prayer closet and get to work. It is funny how much faith I had early on… and how easy it was for me to look at those mountains and believe that I was going to move them far and wide.
God’s sweet grace, through His Holy Spirit, is always the best teacher. Each journey to my knees has taught me another aspect of what Prayer really is. All throughout the Bible are examples of prayer in His Word. We will take a look at some of these prayers this month, but today I want to start at the beginning. I want to just talk about what I have learned prayer is at its core. And I want to tell you that if you ask me today, just exactly who I am, I will still tell you I am a woman of prayer, but perhaps tempered with time sharper for the lessons, but truly someone with a grateful heart for His grace in my learning.
The praying life requires intimacy; intimacy requires relationship. Our example, Jesus, sets a precedent for each of us to follow. Yet …we hold back.
We hold back for a myriad of reasons… inadequacy, fear, limited knowledge, misunderstanding, and…. (You add the next word). The reasons are real to us, these barriers that hold us back, but they all revolve around a lack of familiarity with the Father.
- When we are close to others, we can have a conversation with relative ease.
- When we have a level of trust in a relationship, we can reveal a bit of our heart.
- When love is a part of the equation, there is even a place where we can be real.
- When there is intimacy, we can just BE.
Inclusive of all that we are, our state of being is our most vulnerable state. Before God we are a transparent glass revealing just how full we are. Full of what I sometimes wonder?
No matter how we feel about prayer, or just how much we trust God, He COMES to the table aware, fully, of exactly WHO, WHAT, and HOW full we are. He can see through the opaque walls we build as if it were glass, transparent and clear. The best part of all of this is that He never changes and because of that we can be assured that He will welcome us fully. He STILL loves. He STILL comes. He STILL wants to hear you speak. He is waiting for you to come and to ask.
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For everyone that asks receives, and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened.” ~Matthew 7:7-8
Do you ever ask yourself the following questions?
- What is prayer?
- Does it Matter?
- Does He hear me?
- How do I pray?
- Why do my prayers go unanswered?
- When will I see the result?
- Why pray?
Prayer takes down our walls.
Prayer is not a requirement to see God’s hands move on this earth. He can do any and all things without our help. Prayer brings ME close to His heart so that I can be healed, whole, and full of Him. Prayer causes my brittle walls to tumble so that the mission field of my life would reveal a glass brimming with His heart’s passion for this hurt and broken world.
Take a journey in prayer; make it a pilgrimage to God’s heart.
Prayer is about relationship. Intimacy with the Holy One. We revere Him because He is Holy. We stand in Awe because of who He is. Yet Hebrews 4:16 says we can approach the Throne of Grace in boldness, with grace and mercy as our guarantee, and a promise of Hope as our reward.
“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and grace to help in our time of need.” ~ Hebrews 4:16
Prayer is about change.
Prayer is not a list to check off, though we often come to God with requests. We can come with petitions, but sometimes we leave with only a list that was checked off… it’s done and then move on. In our busy daily lives, we miss the importance of taking time to just sit and wait. I want to come to His throne and leave changed. I don’t want to just come to Him with my list of wants, needs, and hopes and walk away with a bit of thanks for His time. I want to get filled up with His fullness, which meets my needs, ready to pass on the blessings of heaven’s storehouse.
Prayer is about relationship.
It is a give and take on both parties. When I realize how much I receive by purposeful attention to His presence, my prayers take a different route, accomplish more, and my ‘to-do’ list is not needed. He knows who needs prayer and can effectively bring to my remembrance ALL that are in the valley. This relationship we have with the King of Glory puts us in the place to attend fully to bearing the burdens of one another, to fellowship, to intercede, and to decrease so that HE may increase.
Prayer often reveals the state of my heart.
We can be like Christ, peaceful in the storm when we live our lives in a state of unceasing prayer. However, that means we must also be aware of His presence in our present. To know his presence means we must know Him. To Know Him provides the foundation for our peace. Often when I come to the prayer closet, and the words are hard to find, I realize that there is a wall I have placed as a barrier. We can’t come to prayer with our hearts full of anything but desire to seek Him. When the idols in our life take His place, there is little room for Him to move. Clear out the rooms of your heart for Him to dwell. We must always come with awe and reverence at this auspicious opportunity to come before the Lord in prayer.
“Abandon All, and you will receive heaven….” ~ Anthony Bloom
Come to the throne with an urgent desire to release it all. Lay out the scarred heart that beats within you. Open the clenched fist to receive what He has. Extend arms wide, (perhaps you will have to physically change your posture), to the One who gave all for you. Imitate Christ’s prayer life, to see your own begin.
Prayer is a path that reveals God’s glory and dispenses His blessings.
I am learning that prayer is a place of reckless abandon. Come to prayer with boldness and leave everything in His capable hands. Prayer is a constant state of learning about God’s grace and His love. The time we spend in prayer is just as much about getting to personally know the heart of the Heavenly Father, as it is about petitioning His hand of change in the daily living.
Join me as I journal about prayer this month. Please feel free to share your prayer requests, it is an honor to pray for you.
Blessings and Grace to you!
Download a free The Praying Life Journal Page.
Previous posts on Prayer here at Journeys in Grace:
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Stop by her bit of heaven and check it out!