“You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand” (Psalm 16:11).
Human beings are created to live in fellowship with God. We are meant to have and to enjoy life in relationship with God. Without this relationship, we are like branches cut off from a tree, like toasters not plugged in.
Prayer is the way we get in touch with God and the way we keep in touch with him. I used to think of prayer as a spiritual exercise, a discipline that had to be worked at. Through the years, however, God has taught me to see it more and more as the talking part of a friendship. One of the early church fathers called it “keeping company with God.” I like that!
Sometimes people ask how much time they should try to spend in prayer each day. I used to suggest that twenty minutes of formal prayer a day was a minimum. I reinforced that by reminding them of the many things that need to be included in prayer, and then I added that twenty minutes a day was only about 2 percent of our waking hours each day.
Now when people ask about the time they should spend in prayer, I simply tell them they should spend enough time to build a good relationship. Considering that the relationship we are talking about is life’s most important love relationship, that means plenty of time.
What does God do for those who relate to him in love? The psalmist put it well when he said, “You will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”
God of Grace, how blessed I am to be Your child and to know that You desire to keep company with me…to have relationship with me! I am overflowing with thankfulness! Please pour out a deeper desire to connect with you continually rather than wedge you into a quick moment in my day. I desire to be so aware of Your presence living and working in and through me that this knowledge is persistently locked into my consciousness. May I commune with you as naturally and as easily as I breathe in and out as You fill me with joy in your presence!
–Adapted from Be Jesus in Your Neighborhood: Developing a Prayer, Care, Share Lifestyle in 30 Days by Alvin VanderGriend. This resource is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount on the book.
Praise God whose kingdom is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14:17). Thank God for his kindness and love in Jesus, who saved you by the shedding of his own blood (Titus 3:4-7). Confess those times of subtle boasting of how much you do for the Lord and his church (2 Cor. 11:21-30). Commit yourself to quietly helping another person through prayer, encouragement, or deed without self-recognition. Ask God to keep you from pride (Rom. 11:20).
Ask that your church will spend time encouraging and equipping members, warning those who are idle, helping the weak—being the best possible stewards of time as well as money (1 Thess. 5:11-21).
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