Abiding & Prayer
Here’s a question: How many of you have ever come to the conclusion that your prayer life is stagnant or shallow and needs major revamping?
If you’re anything like me you have come to this conclusion often. We seem to never be satisfied with our prayer life. However, most of the time our tools to fix it include waking up earlier, praying more often, reading more scripture, or some other disciplinary measure. Do any of these things ever really work more than a short amount of time?
I was having one of these moments several weeks back and as I began to ask God to help me, He took me to 1 Thessalonians 5:24, “He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.” This is my favorite verse in all of scripture. But why was God pointing me to this place? I knew this scripture well. I was asking Him about prayer.
Then as simply as God asked the question, I understood the problem. Why would I, by my effort, try and create a better and deeper prayer life. Aside from Him, I am unable to live the life of holiness He has called me to live. Why would I believe I should abide in Him for everything else in my life but prayer was on me.
In his book “The Ministry of Intercessory Prayer,” Andrew Murray said,
Failure in prayer is the result of a spirit that is not yielded to the Spirit of God. In this sense, prayer is a gauge that measures the work of the Spirit in us. To pray aright, the life of the Spirit must be active in us. For praying the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man, everything depends on being full of the Spirit”
The depth of our prayer life is directly tied to our willingness to yield to the Spirit of God in our prayer life. Take a look at Romans 8:26-27:
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.
We don’t even know what it is we should be praying for. We aren't even smart enough to know what we need, much less the needs of those around us. So are we destined to a futile life of prayer as guesswork before God? Are we to simply say what we feel and hope He responds? NO! We have been given the gift of the Holy Spirit in us who knows exactly what we need and exactly what God wants to do in us and through us.
Our prayer life is to be vibrant and life giving. It is to be continuous through our day as we YIELD to the Spirit of God in us all the while positioning ourselves to be obedient to whatever may come from our prayer.
I am not saying discipline is a bad thing. Discipline is great. Jesus was a model of discipline. However, our christian discipline should always be in an effort to keep us from depending on our flesh and for us to, in a greater measure, abide in the vine.
So draw near the throne of grace and draw deeply from the well of the Holy Spirit who is in you to pray. This will release a great deal of joy in your prayer life as you know you are praying exactly in tune with the heart of God.
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