Blessed be the name of the Lord forever and ever. Amen.
“There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful than that of a continual conversation with God.” Brother Lawrence
Praying without ceasing is one of those key instructions for the believer. But to live a life of continual prayer would mean living on our hands and knees forever, right? No, my friends. God created us to communicate with him. So, prayer is natural for us because God desires a deeper relationship with him, one that strengthen the bonds between us. A relationship where we dive in, and dig deep. A relationship where we tread upon shallow waters or raging seas. A relationship where we see His glory in the first bud of spring, or in the laughter of a child. A relationship when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, or face a “Goliath”. Therefore, prayer is connection with the divine source – with our heart source; our mind source; our spirit source; our body source. When we speak to/with God, and listen to Him hope springs eternal. All the gaps in our lives are filled with Him. We receive the peace that passes all understanding. And so much more.
Brother Lawrence lived in a constant state of awareness of God’s presence. A prayerful life involves giving the sacred room to invade the secular. To become more aware of God, as a believer in every aspect of daily life. There is a sweetness knowing that God is, and that consciously having conversation with him we become more His sons and daughters. A prayerful life is also about being still and listening for him. So that the directions we take are in alignment with His divine purpose for our lives.
A prayerful life is finally one anchored in the reservoir of the sacred, where the trials and tribulations of the world are deposited, and we experience the matchless love of Christ.
“Let the people renew their strength.” Isaiah 41:1
All things on earth need to be renewed. No created thing continueth by itself. “Thou renewest the face of the year,” was the Psalmist’s utterance. Even the trees, which wear not themselves with care, nor shorten their lives with labor, must drink of the rain of heaven, and suck from the hidden treasures of the soil. The cedars of Lebanon, which God has planted, only live because day by day they are full of sap fresh drawn from the earth. Neither can man’s life be sustained without renewal from God. As it is necessary to repair the waste of the body by the frequent meal, so we must repair the waste of the soul by feeding upon the Book of God, or by listening to the preached Word, or by the soul-fattening table of ordinances. How depressed are our graces when means are neglected! What poor starvelings some saints are who live without the diligent use of the Word of God, and secret prayer! If our piety can live without God, it is not of divine creating; it is but a dream; for if God had begotten it, it would wait upon Him as the flowers wait upon the dew.
Without constant restoration we are not ready for the perpetual assaults of hell, or the stern afflictions of heaven, or even for the strifes within. When the whirlwind shall be loosed, woe to the tree that had not sucked up fresh sap, and grasped the rock with many intertwisted roots. When tempests arise, woe to the mariners that have not strengthened their mast, nor cast their anchor, nor sought the haven.
If we suffer the good to grow weaker, the evil will surely gather strength and struggle desperately for the mastery over us; and so, mayhap, a painful desolution, and a lamentable painful disgrace may follow. Let us draw near to the footstool of divine mercy in humble entreaty, and we shall realize the fulfillment of the promise, “They that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength.” Amen.
Why Not Pray?
How distracted or preoccupied are you, that you could not or would not take a moment out of the day to pray? Prayer is our way of saying thank you, and seeking help and comfort for those we know and know not. “Each hour we think of others more than self, that hour we live again…” Prayer is the sweet language of love and life. Prayer offers hope to the soul. It communicates to God our desires for family, and for ourselves. It is said as one prays, the heart opens to God in such as way that one clearly hear His voice – that still small voice reaching beyond the heavens. Prayer bring joys and peace to the soul. It lifts burdens and puts into perspective who is our true enemy. Prayer allows us to speak grace and mercy to those who mistreat, injure or cause us sleepless nights. Prayer changes the person who prays. So why not pray?
The benefits of prayer are worth noting. For one, it clears the mind and brings into focus our relationship and need for God. It is easy to fall prey to our fleshly state and forget there is more to us than this earthly package. Prayer open our hearts to want to seek God. There is an internal GPS, that in difficult or perplexing times desires nothing more than to be HOME. When lost, God’s amazing grace directs us to him. Prayer is power. The Holy Scriptures shares lots of examples of the power of prayer. Changing water into wine, calming raging seas, healing physical and emotional infirmities, raising the dead. Why would you not pray, if these experiences are possible?
Finally, prayer is divine communication with God. We talk with our Creator and to our surprise He communicates back. The ways God chooses to reveal himself are different for the person and situation. I often chuckle at the ways God chooses to reveal answers to questions or challenges I’m facing. Those answers arrive not in the manner nor method I would not have expected, but I receive them with delight and humility.
Today, I arose and immediately knew I had to go into warfare prayer. However, before, I could begin I was given the title for this blog. It became clear that this was not only the message, but also the admonition to pray for others, since our primary prayer focus oftentimes stop at our front door.
We are told to pray without ceasing not only for family, friends, ourselves, but also for our leaders, and for nations. When we pray for others our souls experience great spiritual beauty and powerful efficacy. We change into vessels of light, love, power; clearing ourselves of the impure desires, weak self-pity, degrading self praise, vanity and pride; all things which deform our hearts and spirits.
As these prayers (heart offerings) are uttered, we experience the beauty of holiness, and His will being done on earth, as it is in heaven. Prayer gives us this day, our daily bread and leads us not into temptation, but delivers us from evil, and brings peace on earth and goodwill towards mankind. So why not pray?
The events of December 14th have touched the hearts and souls of the world. Sorrow, anguish, horror, sadness and pain for those lost, and for those left behind to cope with their journey through the valley of the shadow of death.
Lord, paint our souls with a picture of you, so Your divine light can be seen in this dark world. Paint our hearts with your love to enable us to show what real love really is. Paint our spirits with your peace so we become vessels of calm in troubled waters. Paint our minds with your wisdom, and our bodies with your strength and mercy, so that we show your amazing grace to the world.
Help us Lord, to walk with these families and others through this time. Their journey through these dark days are beyond comprehension. And like others before them, remind us all that our personal journeys intersect with theirs right now, and as your servants we have a work to do them.
Lord, let them know they are not alone, for you are with them. Your rod and staff will comfort them, and the table you’ve prepared is anointed with your healing oil. Remind them You are filling their cups with your loving comfort, like the gates of heaven.
Lord, be with these families whose children, and loved ones are gone and with those who are providing care, comfort, support, aid. Give us the strength and courage as a nation to help, really help those who need it. Amen
“When a Christian shuns fellowship with other Christians, the devil smiles. When he stops studying the Bible, the devil laughs.
When he stops praying, the devil shouts for joy.” Corrie Ten Boom
Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving. Colossians 4:2
PRAY WITHOUT CEASING 1 Thessalonians 5:17
Lord, help us to pray passionately for the things of God. To seek the kingdom of God, and your righteousness first, and then to pray for your peace and wisdom in our relationships, and activities. Lord, help us to become more Christ like in every way, so we can fulfill the divine mission you placed within us. In Jesus’ name. Amen