A.W. Tozer pastored a church in Chicago for many years. One time after a minister arrived in Chicago, Tozer called him and said, “This city is a devil’s den. It is a very difficult place to minister the Word of God, and you will come up against much opposition from the enemy. If you ever want to pray with me, I’m at the lakeside every morning at five-thirty. Just make your way down and we can pray together.” One day the minister was troubled and about six o’clock he went to the lakeside. He found A. W. Tozer prostrate in the sand worshiping God.1 Tozer was a prophetic voice to the church of the twentieth century, and his message grew out of private intimacy with God.
Intimacy with God will always be found in a fresh, living relationship with the Father. That relationship necessitates that we have a time and place to regularly and consistently meet with Him.
When we come into God’s presence we must approach Him with genuineness and sincerity. We must never attempt to impress God with our spirituality and religiosity. Jesus taught His disciples to be careful about how they approached the throne of heaven. He said, “When you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition, as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words” (Matthew 6:7). God is not impressed with the loudness or softness of our voices. He is not impressed with the beauty or multiplicity of our words. He is impressed with the sincerity of our hearts.
Holy Lord, as I come into Your presence, may my heart be completely pure. Draw me into Your throne room through a living, active relationship with You! I don’t want my words in prayer to be empty and religious talk. Guide my heart into purposeful, intimate conversation that is perfectly aligned with Your will and not my own!
Praise God as your faithful Creator and Re-creator in Christ. Give thanks that you can “participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed” (1 Pet. 4:13). Confess the times in which you have shirked responsibility by failing to speak or act for Christ. Commit yourself to living up to the weighty name “Christian.” Ask that you will never “repay evil with evil or insult with insult” (1 Pet. 3:9).
Pray for people who are experiencing the effects of natural disasters. Pray that they will feel the closeness of God even in the turmoil, and that relief will be offered to them in Jesus’ name.