As we come before the throne of grace, we must keep in mind that we are nothing without his intervention. Our attitude has to be “Whatever, whenever, if ever, Lord.” It’s all up to God! It doesn’t matter if our request is as big as praying for the healing of a dying friend, or as seemingly small as asking for grace in a shopping adventure—we need to be humbled before an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-caring God!
I remember an incident that happened in my life more than fifteen years ago. It was Sunday morning and I was getting myself and my two sons ready for church. While I was getting dressed, I sensed the Holy Spirit calling me to spend time with him. Wanting to take enough time to look my best, I told him that I would answer his call as I drove to pick a friend up for church. That would give me fifteen minutes, which should be more than enough time to spend in prayer! I finished getting ready, started my car, and even turned off my radio. How much more committed could I be? As I waited for his sweet presence, there was an obvious deadness in the car. “Lord,” I complained, “you’ve been calling me all morning to spend time with you, and here I am! Where are you?”
The Lord spoke a word of rebuke to me that day that I will never forget. “I am the Lord! You will either put me first in your life or don’t put me at all!” I spent the next few minutes in confession as I wept before the Lord. I learned a great lesson that day about who God is! I learned how important it is to be desperate for him, really desperate.
I can’t fully describe to you how much this incident has affected my prayer life. He longs for us to be in communion and prayer with him, but this communion involves the deep understanding of our desperation and complete need for him. Once we’ve really grasped that concept in our hearts and minds, it must flow out of our prayers.
–Adapted from Ultimate Connection: Eight Principles that will Transform Your Prayer Life by Barbara Ho.
Gracious Father, I confess my lack of attentiveness to the work of Your Spirit in and around my life. I have not leaned upon You and been dependent upon You for all things and in all things. I ask for Your help to withstand the temptation to put my own agenda ahead of Your kingdom. Please give my heart a deep awareness and understanding of my great need for full fellowship with You above all else!
Praise God for the privilege of coming to him in worship and praise today. Give thanks with “shouts of joy and thanksgiving” (Ps. 42:4) for God’s many benefits. Confess your occasional lack of enthusiasm in devotion. Commit yourself to “festive” times of personal worship. Ask God to meet with you on those occasions.
Ask that the devotional experiences of your family and friends will be characterized by joy. Pray that the Spirit will enliven their walk with God.
“Prayer is a shield to the soul, a sacrifice to God, and a scourge for Satan.”
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend
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