According to the calendar it is the official 1st day of Summer. As I write to you, I am watching a soaking rain fall onto my already soaked and saturated garden. The creek behind my house is swelling and filling up the cavity that lovingly becomes our flooded lake each year. It is something we can count on, actually. The rise of the floodwaters and the subsequent change of landscape as the seasons transition from one to other is often expected and the more I thought about it, I realized how much our prayer life can resemble the ebb and flow of the storms that sweep through our lives.
How do you handle your approach to prayer in the seasons of your journey? Is it bold like a summer storm or is it gentle yet consistent like a slow soaking rain?And can it be both?
If I am honest, I should confess that sometimes I find myself using prayer as means of getting my list of must-have’s in the hands of the Almighty rather than getting what I must have from the Father. Sometimes my bold approach isn’t because my faith is strong but because my fear is stronger. And a lot of times when the world is weighing heavy, the consistency of prayer can be affected. It becomes more of a drizzle than the saturated soaking of His grace when I am consistently seeking His face, and I am certain that is not what it is meant to be.
“Prayer is not a normal part of the life of the natural man… it is the way that the life of God is nourished in us. Prayer is a means of getting to know God Himself, not as a means of getting things for ourselves.”- Oswald Chambers
I stumbled upon 2 familiar verses this week as I pondered the way our lives are changed by His presence as we pray and the way we approach His throne in the seasons of our journey. Though they are as familiar as my closest friends, as welcome as my wisest confidants, as trusted as my faithful tribe, I can easily forget the power of heeding and doing as His Word says.
Approach boldly… find grace.
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. -Hebrews 14:6
This whole idea of coming boldly in prayer feels at times unnatural. It doesn’t line up with those acronyms of adoration, confession, thanks and supplication I was taught early on. But that word, boldly in Hebrews is also the same word as confidence. And we are urged to come to God in confidence. John reminds us that confidence is never in our approach but in the One we approach. That is what gives us boldness… the fact that we KNOW that God is always as close as our prayers and always as near as our plea.
And this is the confidence which we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we now that we have obtained the requests made of Him. – 1 John 5:14-15
Pray Consistently…find faith.
Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17
It goes without saying that we all ‘KNOW’ this is what we ought to do… that this is the habit that we ought to first establish in our faith journey. And truly, for many of us it is. We are consistently in the habit of praying over every single thing, all throughout the day. But that isn’t what struck me most as I contemplated this verse.
Prayer is not as much about changing the things in my life as it is about being changed from glory to glory by the grace which flows from His throne in abundance. In the 5th chapter of Thessalonians we are reminded to not just pray without stopping, but to trust that God is faithful to all He promises, and that He will fulfill you as you are called to be in Him.
As we actively come to the throne of grace, consistently, we are changed. We know Him better, we trust Him more, we seek Him deeper, we pray without ceasing.
To say that ‘prayer changes things’ is not as close to the truth as saying, “Prayer changes me and then I change things.”…Prayer is not a matter of changing things externally, but one of working miracles in a person’s inner nature. – Oswald Chambers
The storms of life don’t always come at opportune times. They don’t arrive on a down day, when we have the freedom to rest and just wait it out in safety. Most often they come when we are in the middle of our journey, as we are heading down the road of life trying to get through the next ‘thing’ on the list. But the more that we pray, the more that we settle ourselves at the feet of the King, we find our ability to ride out those storms is different. Our response to the blowing and the flooding is not hinged by what we see, but our faith is buoyed on the waves of His grace and the consistency of His love.
Prayer is a consistent grace, a change agent that works miracles in our hearts as we consistently come to God with bold faith.
I am reminded that prayer is the conversation that doesn’t require an coffee date on our calendar… it can and should take place any time, place, and duration that meets our need. Because we find grace in the boldness and faith in the ceaseless gift of prayer.
Let’s go boldly to the throne of grace together.
IT’S YOUR TURN TO BE A GRACE COUNTER! SHARE YOUR GRACE MOMENT IN THE COMMENTS BELOW AND THEN COUNT GRACE WITH A FRIEND WITH COMMENT ON A BLOG OR TWO.
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Take time to visit your neighbor next to you, and if you want visit a few more friends on the journey. We all need a little encouragement and affirmation as we travel together.
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Each week I will try visit as many of your amazing posts as I can.This is a safe place to sit and dwell in grace together, friends. I can’t wait to pour a cup of friendship with you and take in the grace moments you have to share. Don’t forget to leave a comment below, I love to hear from you.