Knowledge of God and prayer
Every day I understand why it is important to “grow in the knowledge of God” (Col. 1:9-10). Who can know the mind of God? God is so awesome and beyond anything I could ever imagine.
Paul shared my awe of God in Romans 11:33, when he exclaimed: O the depths of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God; how unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!”
This wonderment of God has expanded my curiosity. Who is He and what is His will? These questions have increased my desire for greater intimacy with Him. They have presented me with new opportunities for a richer prayer life.
A new attitude
As I mentioned last week, this era of change and challenge, requires that we be intentional and strategic in use of our spiritual disciplines. Spiritual disciplines are a critical part of both our life and our lifestyle. They aren’t meant to be used only to learn more about the Bible or how to live a holy life.
Spiritual disciplines are designed for us to experience the totality of God—Father God, Savior God, and Spirit. Through these experiences, we are encouraged, empowered, and enabled to fulfill God’s will and purpose (1 Pet. 4:1-2).
We also need a new attitude about prayer. This attitude requires a change in our mindset. We must think and act differently than the rest of the world. This is often counterintuitive to what we may feel. However, as new creatures in Christ, we are required to pursue “a more excellent way” (1 Cor. 12:31). Jesus made that clear on the Sermon on the Mountain (Matt. 5-7). This new attitude also suggests that we revisit how we think about prayer and its outcomes. Our prayer life must become intentional, strategic, and purposeful.
Past experiences with prayer
What has been your experience with prayer? Who do you pray for and when? If you’re like me, I tried to follow the “biblical playbook” on prayer. I prayed for God’s will to be done and for forgiveness of sin. I prayed for family and friends and my life in general. I really prayed when things got shaky.
When others asked for prayer, I would promise to do so. I later learned to stop “at that moment” and pray with them. Fortunately, in my lifetime, I’ve only had one person ask me not to pray for them. I honored their request without question.
I am cautious as to who I ask to pray for me. It stems from the old saints’ warning, “be careful who prays for you—especially if you don’t know who they pray to.” As I sometimes discover later, that advice served me well.
I have been blessed to be part of several communities of believers who help me regularly exercise my prayer discipline especially in the area of intercessory prayer. For several years I was part of a soul healing prayer group where we prayed as a team for individuals. For several hours we prayed, listening to the Holy Spirit as He guided individuals to spiritual healing and release. It was so powerful. It was so needed. It still is.
The Power of Prayer
Today I stand to witness to the power of prayer especially when it is approached with intentionality and strategically.
Prayer not only changes circumstances but prayer also changes us. Prayer teaches us patience and trust in the Lord. It increases our emotional capacity so that we are able to rebound from traumatic events in our life. Prayer connects us to God when we feel we can’t go on (Ps. 42:11).
The thing we must recognize is the true source of prayer’s power. Prayer is powerful because it is underwritten by God, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe (Ps. 104:5-9). Prayer is the connector to the dunamis power of God. Engaging in prayer instantaneously takes us into the throne room of God.
Prayer is so much more
Over my lifetime, I’ve personally experienced God’s power through prayer. Though the circumstances and situations may have been different, God’s presence has been undeniable.
Prayer connects us with so much more than God’s deliverance or provision. Prayer releases God’s grace, promises, and power from the spiritual realm into our physical world.
Much like the features of that new car or computer we purchased, I’m sure we are under utilizing the power and potential available to us through prayer. So, for the next few weeks, let’s explore new ways to expand our prayer capacity. How can we become more intentional, strategic, and purposeful in our prayer life?