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The Forgotten Aspect of Prayer

This is the post excerpt.

 

The Forgotten Aspect of Prayer
Patricia Styers
January 31, 2017

I was in a corporate prayer meeting last Thursday and God was speaking to me as I was sitting quietly. He began to speak to me about prayer. The Church (Christians) talk so much about prayer and many recognize the importance of prayer but many are missing one very essential part of what having a strong prayer life should mean to us. If I were to ask people what prayer means to them, some of the answers I would probably hear include “prayer is asking God to do things” or ‘prayer is asking God to bless my family and friends.” These things are definitely a part of prayer but unfortunately, many people think that is all there is to prayer. I want to draw your attention to something that should be a very huge part of our prayer life that is overlooked or neglected. In order for us to have a prayer life that is effective and one that brings about greater results, we must understand what should really be included in our prayer life.
When we talk to the Lord, we need to recognize that He is the greatest, most faithful and loving friend that we could ever have in our lives. It is true that He is the Supreme Being, the Maker of Heaven and earth and He deserves great respect from us but He is also the best friend we could ever hope to have and He wants a personal and intimate relationship with us. If you have a best friend, when you get together with that friend, a big part of the friendship is conversation. If you did all of the talking and your friend could never get a word in edgewise, your friend would begin to feel like you did not care enough to listen to their feelings and hear what they had to say. That is not a conversation but a monologue! Now, try to imagine what it would be like to be God. Day and night people are pleading with you to meet their requests but they don’t stop to be quiet and let you talk to them. God is Wisdom and He desires to speak into our lives and give to us wisdom, knowledge, understanding and revelation but are we listening? Do we take time to be quiet as a regular part of our prayer lives or do we just submit our requests to Him and then go about our business as usual. What message are we sending to the Lord? Lord, I just need you to do these things for me but I don’t really have time right now to be quiet and still to hear what you want to say. How sad! That is not a relationship with the Lord but it is using God as a sugar daddy in Heaven who is the one that we run to when we need something.
Many years ago, God showed me that most people are geared towards activity. Quietness can actually be uncomfortable to people who are so used to activity and noise. I have been in “churches” where people get very uncomfortable if there is quiet. You can hear feet shuffling or nervous coughing because they are not accustomed to being quiet. God, on the other hand, loves the quiet because it is an opportunity for Him to speak into our lives, if we are listening! I have some questions for all of us. When is the last time that you just got still and quiet and listened for the still small voice of God? Was it uncomfortable? Did you find your mind wandering? Were you able to truly quiet your mind enough to listen? Think about these questions and answer them honestly. If quietness and stillness was uncomfortable and you wrestled with it, you need to spend more time on it and learn how to appreciate the quietness and having that time as a regular part of your prayer life. Doesn’t God deserve our time? Don’t we need to hear from God? I know that I need to have a conversation with God instead of a monologue because I need His guidance in my life. There used to be a commercial for a company that said when they spoke everyone listened. Don’t we need to hear from God more than any person or company? I challenge all of us to start being quiet as a part of our prayer lives. Start with just a few minutes and as you learn to be still, increase the time. Pray that God will teach you to be still and really listen for Him to speak. You will be amazed at how God can and will change your life as you learn that He has awesome things to share with you that are life-changing! Try having a real relationship with Him and watch what happens!

Mercy

I posted the following on Facebook one year ago:

I have been a Christian for over 47 years now and I thank God for His love, mercy and grace throughout the years. For anyone who does not know this, being a Christian does not mean that we have arrived and are walking in perfection. Some people who are not Christians are quick to point that out as a reason to not have anything to do with Christianity. However, for anyone who has done that, don’t judge a perfect God by His imperfect people! If you are a Christian and judge other Christians because they sin in other ways than you do, stop that! ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God! We should be praying for each other. 

I will be quick to admit that I am far from perfect and have made some bad choices in my life which took me wondering down a wrong path for awhile. The great news is that once we realize we are on the wrong path, if we genuinely repent, God not only forgives us but He FORGETS our sins! God is AMAZING! HE is perfect so He is the ONLY one who would have a right to judge us but He forgives and forgets! 

In my case, I have always been my harshest judge! Even after I repent for bad decisions that resulted in sin (anything that pulls our attention from God and what He wants for us) , I have continued to lament those decisions and condemn myself. Satan wants to keep us down by reminding us of our imperfections even after we repent. Satan is the accuser of the brethren and he wants to keep us from what God has for us. The Christian singer Carmen says that whenever the devil reminds him of his past, he reminds the devil of his (the devils’) future! In my case though, I have been a harsher judge of myself than satan has. The funny thing about this is one of my main spiritual giftings from God is mercy! I have no problem extending mercy to others but it is different when I need to show myself some! Our judgment of ourselves can hold us down and back from what God has for us. This morning I was thinking about times I have missed God and He spoke to me to “Get over it!”  With God’s help, I will extend the same mercy to myself that I extend to others and learn from it!  

What I have learned is that ALL failure is a prayer and relationship failure! When we become distracted and our one on one time with the Lord diminishes, we are opening ourselves up to deception and sin. Satan does not come to us and tell us to commit a sin because we would recognize that was wrong and not do it. What he does is try to distract us with things that will steal our time with the Lord and hinder our relationship with God slowly. This can even be done by seemingly good things like ministry. We can get so busy with ministering to others that we lack in our time ministering to the Lord and letting God minister to us! We need to watch out for anything that starts taking our focus off of the Lord and make sure that God truly comes FIRST in our lives!

Needs and Blessings

I posted this 4 years ago on Facebook:

I woke up early this morning singing (if you can call what I do singing) this:
I need Thee, oh, I need Thee;

Every hour I need Thee;

Oh, bless me now, my Savior!

I come to Thee.

 It is from an old hymn called “I Need Thee Every Hour” and I have not heard it in many, many years. It SURE is true that I DO need Him every hour of EVERY day in my life. Left to myself, I would mess everything up! Even Jesus said that He did not do or say anything He did not first see His Father do or say. If Jesus needed the instruction of His Father, how much MORE do I need Him in my daily life! 

Now to the second part, “Oh, bless me now, my Savior! I come to Thee.” Sometimes Christians have the mentality that if we come to the Lord, it is His duty to bless us with the things we want. We tell Him what WE want and expect Him to do what we want and bless us with those things, even though what WE want may not be anything close to what HE wants for us. He does NOT want us to come to Him like we come to an all-you-can-eat buffet where we can pick and choose ONLY what we want and as much of it as we want. There was a very dangerous (and false) teaching that went around many years ago and maybe some misguided teachers are still teaching it. They took one verse in the Bible (totally out of context) and developed a whole teaching on it. Here is the verse: 11 Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me. Isaiah 45:11 (KJV). The teaching was that WE can command God. Now, if you go and read that verse in context, it is clear that God is telling us NOT to question Him and what He does. He is the one who is God, not us! Here it is in context from another version of the Bible: 9 Woe to him who strives with his Maker!—a worthless piece of broken pottery among other pieces equally worthless [and yet presuming to strive with his Maker]! Shall the clay say to him who fashions it, What do you think you are making? or, Your work has no handles? 10 Woe to him [who complains against his parents that they have begotten him] who says to a father, What are you begetting? or to a woman, With what are you in travail? 11 Thus says the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker: Would you question Me about things to come concerning My children, and concerning the work of My hands [would you] command Me? 12 I made the earth and created man upon it. I, with My hands, stretched out the heavens, and I commanded all their host.

The point I am trying to make is that we need to come to the Lord humbly, recognizing that HE is God and He will decide what we need and give us those things. We can ask God to meet our needs and He will but what we perceive to be needs may not REALLY be needs! If we got everything we wanted, it would probably destroy us. We also need to approach God in an attitude of wanting to bless HIM. Instead of a “bless me Lord” attitude, we need to go to the Lord in an “I want to bless you Lord” attitude. Ask the Lord today; “How can I bless you today Lord?”

Angel of Light

Deception is often disguised as something good. It can look and sound good and easily be accepted as truth! Even Satan can appear as an angel of light. When Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, he used scripture but it was taken out of context and used incorrectly. We must ask the Lord for wisdom, knowledge, understanding, revelation and discernment so we are not deceived.

Control

Are you a person that MUST have control? Do you try to control all the situations in your life? Do you try to control the people in your life? How is that working for you and for your relationships? It is probably not working well, even if YOU think it is!

As Christians, we must learn to submit to the Lord and give up our tight grip on things! If we don’t freely submit to God, we will eventually find out that there are things that we cannot control and we need God to handle them. It is much better to let God be God and not try to be God ourselves. God does NOT need a replacement!

Killers

God spoke to me many years ago and told me about five things that will kill us spiritually so I thought I would share them with you. We all need to examine our hearts and lives and make sure that we are not allowing these killers in our lives. They are ANGER, HATRED, UNFORGIVENESS, BITTERNESS and RESENTMENT. Are you allowing any of these dangerous killers in your life?