8.05.2016

The privilege and power of PRAYER.

We have officially kicked off our Prayer Study!
One week in - one chapter completed - and WOW.
My first read in 2014 was convicting, and not one page was without underlines, highlights, and comments.
This read is no different.
The same thoughts, phrases, and paragraphs that grabbed me two years ago have me in the same grip now.
It is even better reading it with my sisters in Christ because each of us has a different perspective and response to Spurgeon's message based on who we are as individuals.
Our commitment: Read one chapter each week, exchange notes on Saturday/Sunday, and pray for 30 minutes each day. When we complete the book we will meet together to live out what we learned - and PRAY.
It is a timely and timeless topic, and I trust the Lord will convict us in a real, life-changing, faith-growing way, and give us a genuine and consuming PASSION for prayer.
Lord, increase my understanding and desire for a powerful prayer-driven life so I can live with a heart and mind that rests in the godly peace that passes all understanding because I continually lay everything at Your feet and trust You to care for it all.

These are a few of my notes from chapter one. The complete set filled three pages - because if I had written down EVERYthing that God used to pierce my heart there would have been nine! <grin>
How I treasure excellent literature! Especially when every page, every paragraph, every word makes me forget myself and points every thought toward Christ.
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“True prayer is an approach of the soul by the Spirit of God to the throne of God. It is not the utterance of words, it is not alone the feeling of desires, but it is the advance of the desires to God, 
the spiritual approach of our nature toward the Lord our God.”
LOVE this.
If we read this quote before we began every prayer it would erase fears, concerns, distractions, and focus our thoughts on the LORD. 
If we entered a palace to meet a king or queen, we would not kneel before the throne thinking about our grocery list, how much weight we want to lose, or the family member who drives us nuts. We would be overwhelmed and awed by the beauty and splendor of everything around us. All of our worldly cares would be forgotten in those moments.
I am embarrassed to admit that I do not have an attitude of awe when I close my eyes to pray. Sometimes - but not enough.
Change me in this, Lord! Create a fresh, sincere, holy WONDER and DELIGHT for prayer based on the knowledge that I am entering the throne room of the King of kings!

“When prayer is the spiritual desire and fellowship of the human spirit with the Great Spirit, the Holy Ghost Himself must be present all through it - to help our weaknesses and give life and power - or else true prayer will never be presented. The thing offered to God will wear the name and have the form of prayer, but the inner life will be far from it.”
“The mediation of the Lord Jesus Christ is essential to acceptable prayer.”
AMEN and A M E N!
We do not know how to pray. Even our ‘best prayers’ are from the hearts of fleshly people who do not know the mind of God. We need Him to guide our thoughts/words/attitudes and expectations.
Thank You, Lord, for this wonderful gift!

“My heart, be sure that you prostrate yourself in such a presence. If He is so great, place your mouth in the dust before Him, for He is the most powerful of all kings. His throne has sway in all worlds. Heaven obeys Him cheerfully, hell trembles at His frown, and earth is constrained to yield Him worship, willingly or unwillingly. His power can create or destroy. My soul, be sure that when you draw near to the Omnipotent, who is as a consuming fire, put your shoes from off your feet and worship Him with lowliest humility.”
WOW!
This is powerful imagery. And convicting.
My take away from this is a conviction that I need to literally bend my knee before the Lord. 
We can pray anywhere at anytime because we have continual access to the throne, but when I pray I do not position myself as I would were I in a royal court.
There is a humility that comes with being bowed before another.
I think I need the physical posture of kneeling to focus my thoughts and prepare my heart to pray. This is my goal.
Lord - teach me how to pray!

“Whenever this throne is approached it should be with complete submission.”
“YOUR will be done, Lord!”
There is no better way to pray.
Jesus poured his heart out before the Father in the garden, asking for the cup of death to pass, and God the Father said, “No.”
If He denied His own Son, why should we presume to have all of OUR requests answered the way we want them to be answered?
Lord, may I ALWAYS end prayer with, “Not MY will - but YOURS be done.” Even when I don't understand or like it.

“As for our great King, when we venture into His presence, let us have a purpose there.”
YES! YES! YES!
Focus - purpose - intention.
Prayer is powerful - effective - life-changing - and a command.
I cannot treat it lightly or minimize the need for it.
“Let us have a purpose there.”
Purposeful prayer. I like that!

I am afraid we do not bow as we should before the Eternal Majesty.  ~ Spurgeon

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