The Great Conversation: The Practice of Prayer
Worship, Bible study, and prayer are the three foundational disciplines of the Christian life.
We worship in order to communicate the worthiness of God, to proclaim the greatness of the one true God. As we study the Word, we learn from God about who He is, who we are, and He reconciling all things to himself. Then, when we come to prayer, we move to a specifically intimate interaction with God.
- Philip Nation
One of the first things that Philip establishes is what prayer is and what it is not. Prayer is dialogue between you and God that stems from your desire to commune with Him. It is initiated on our end and is much more than rattling off our "laundry list" of issues and requests. It delves into us taking a moment to really have a conversation. Conversations include questions and pauses to allow the other person to respond and ask their own questions.
In the same way that our horizontal human relationships can falter due to poor communication and gaps in communication, so can our vertical relationship with God. Oftentimes we abuse our communication with God, reducing prayer to treating God like a genie to rub with you need something yet to live your life as though He does not have standards or as though He does not have anything to say to you. Grace saves and covers us but God will not be mocked. He knows the difference between our genuine prayer to communicate and us either going through the motions without emotion or just wanting His hand while being far from His heart.
This week, take your time this week to learn the elements of prayer: Confession, thanksgiving, petition, and intercession. Take time to allow prayer to permeate every fiber of your being and infiltrate every area of your life. Nothing is TOO big or TOO small to talk to God about. Allow God's heart to be the mission rather than His hand. Someone whose life is worth noting for this: Solomon. God bestowed His hand upon Solomon because Solomon when asked what He desired from God, Solomon chose God's heart (wisdom & discernment) to govern God's people justly.
We'll see you next week!