Prayer is an essential part of the doing. They can’t be separated. We can’t do what God wants us to do without continually coming to him in prayer, and if we’re truly communing with the holy God, our prayer life will fuel us for doing the work he’s called us to in the rest of our lives. Being doers of the word requires that we also be people of prayer.Sarah J. Hauser
Prayers of friends
This past weekend we visited with dear friends. As we chatted, we talked about prayer, and our friends reminded me that they are praying for us, blessings that God desires to answer. Those comments always bless my heart, encouraging me as I lean into walking in step with the Spirit.
The creator of the universe hears the whisperings of my heart and knows the hidden desires within. Amazing, right!?? The creator of the universe takes notice of us! Not only does He notice us, but He invites us to draw near!
- Hebrews 4:16 (ESV) – Let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
- Hebrews 7:25 (ESV) – He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
- Hebrews 10:19-22 (ESV) – Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
- Hebrews 11:6 (ESV) – Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who draws near to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
One powerful convergence of spirituality and sensuality in a garden lies in the aromas and smells, first of the earth and then of flowering plants. The sense of smell not only conjures up memory as is well known, a primary activity of the soul, but is intimately implicated in the spiritual life.Thomas Moore
It’s my voice you’re hearing!
Eugene Peterson paraphrases Psalm 141 this way, “God, come close. Come quickly! Open your ears—it’s my voice you’re hearing! Treat my prayer as sweet incense rising; my raised hands are my evening prayers.”
I love that … it’s my voice you’re hearing! Over and over! The “old” King James version uses the word “importunity” in Luke 11:5 – 8 as Jesus teaches his disciples the value of persistence in prayer. “Importunity” is not a familiar word in current speech.
Dictionary.com defines importunate:
1. urgent or persistent in solicitation, sometimes annoyingly so.
2. pertinacious, as solicitations or demands.
3. troublesome; annoying: importunate demands from the children for attention.
A persistent prayer
I have a persistent prayer – something I’ve been asking God for a while. I see myself knocking daily on his open door, asking again, maybe annoyingly, yet I know God isn’t annoyed. He invites me to the throne room to present my requests and promises that He hears me. And in His time, He will answer!
As I persist in prayer, I am not trying to change God’s mind or twist His strong arm. Instead, as I pray, I ask Him to intervene first in my life, sanctifying, maturing, and teaching me how to adjust my wants and desires to match His good and perfect will. I invite Him to redirect my prayers to match His will. And in prayer, I remind myself that we worship and serve a good God who desires to give good gifts to His children.
I continue in prayer even today –
Father, you who teaches us to pray,
To call you Abba, to come as children,
Hear our prayer today –
Our pleas, the desires of our hearts,
Grant according to Your will,
According to Your riches of grace
And may the words, the very thoughts
Of our hearts be pleasing to You
Our God and Redeemer.