“O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer...”
Prayer especially in the morning is to be the inspiration and the very place wherein we touch His presence and receive the breath of life to face the day before us. Unlike the material creation, the spiritual life requires the breath of life continuously. We are exhorted in John 15 to abide in the vine in order to live and bear fruit.
“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.”
Our inherent weakness requires something far more than fleeting moments of inspiration. There is within God’s wisdom a need (on our part) and a provision (on His part) for our life to become grafted in by the continuous operation of Faith. It is from this live connection where the flow of Grace sustains us, transforms us, and brings us into the resources to live beyond the limitations of this earthly existence.
The One great aspect of prayer is not so much in our asking for things but in simplicity communing with Him who is our breath of life.
“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.”
Prayer is simply the communion of our hearts with God. The touch of His presence brings fresh stirrings of His Own desire within our hearts; we become the altar upon which His incense burns. The closer we come to Him the more we find the Divine enablement to flow in His grace rather than relying on our own feeble efforts to pray effectually.
Travail is the precursor to new things being born in Him. Like a woman with child, the life within her is the source of travail. So also, Christ in His own, produces the cry for His New Creation to come forth in this Day.
“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered”
True communion does not happen quickly. It involves an unfolding of hearts, a trust and a compliance on our part in order to be fully given to the will of God. His Presence is the great mystery of the universe. To enter into such a thing is a privilege beyond all others.
Our Walk and Our Prayer Life
As we grow in our sensitivity in touching these sacred places in God, we learn that our relationship with others greatly affects our relationship with Him. Unforgiveness, bitterness, pride, animosity and anger will greatly limit the true prayer of the Spirit of God within us. I cannot expect an audience with Him while I walk contrary to His ways.
“Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered*”
(*literally in the Greek “that your prayers be not cut off“) 1 Peter 3:7
Unforgiveness and Prayer
The deeper we go in Christ the more we find the necessity of being exercised in the grace of forgiveness. Failure to extend to others the great need of forgiveness for ourselves will result in our own prayer life lacking His presence and His unction to move in concert with His Spirit.
“And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses”
The insensitive of heart will remain unaffected by the graces of His Holy Spirit. True, effectual prayer is proportional to our participation in the graces of His Spirit.
“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy”
“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God”
The secret to communion with Christ is summed up in our walk; in honoring and obeying Him in our common, everyday life.
Those who obey His Word honour His Word.
“Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life”
Prayer is the means to discovering the “Go” of God’s Will. It is in our time with Him that He communicates and empowers. In the enormity of Jesus facing Calvary’s wretched death, He who knew no sin about to become the sin-bearer of the world, He drew near unto His Father for strength and grace to walk out the Will of the Father. So it must be for us. Through the intimacy of prayer, we hear Him speak and have the privilege of participating in His Will in the earth.
“…making known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself”
– Ephesians 1:9
The KJV of this verse speaks of something past tense: “having made known to us the mystery of His will”. There is something amiss in this past-tense translation which is not at all expressed in the original Greek. The Will of God is a daily thing. It is a mystery which unfolds as we commune with Him and allow His Lordship to speak into our hearts His purposes for the now of life. The true Christian Life is an adventure which can only be experienced through the medium of Obedience. Paul, writing to the Church at Ephesus, used the Greek participle concerning God “making known unto us the mystery of HIS will”. How blessed we are to discover fresh opportunities of Faith to walk in His purposes!
The more we obey the impulse of the Spirit the more we discover confidence; a growing boldness, a dynamic which arises out of our own experience with God. It is here the depth of our prayer life is revealed and established. Prayer without the communication of the Will of God to us should be disconcerting, for prayer is simply the participation of our heart with His. Obedience and prayer are harmonious. I know from my own personal experience the wrestling and struggles to obey that which He has given me to DO in my time alone with Him. Knowing and discovering His Will is a mystery which is only solved when I personally step into it. I can have a word or an impression of God to go, but until that step is taken His Will lingers, unfulfilled.
“Go ye therefore…”
“Go” is the impulse of God; “Go” is God’s heart to His Own. It is the word of God for us to explore, venture and invest ourselves in His purposes to make His salvation known to this world. What does that “Go” look like to you? Where does that “Go” personally take you? That is the exciting thing about the glory of prayer!The Go of God is bound up in us first coming in prayer, the secret place of communion (co-union) with Him.
“Come now therefore, and I will send thee…”
Unless we come to Him with a heart alive and burning with a desire to do His Will there will never be a “sending”. His Will is waiting for you to take His deliverance, His word of life and His love to heal the broken and lost of humanity. His House is filled with many who need His touch in their lives. Do we not hear the “Go” of God within our own hearts to be involved in making Him known?
It is the “lukewarm” who say, “I am rich, and I am made rich, and I have need of nothing”. They are content and feel no need to venture into the world around them nor expend themselves in making Him known. Those who need nothing will see nothing concerning the will of God. The soil which at one time received the seed of life with gladness has now become infested with the cares and comforts of this life and the life is choked with the thorns and thistles of their own sowing.
It is needful that we draw away from lukewarm living, carelessness and deception. Let us discover afresh the secret chambers of prayer and communion with Him. It is in this holy place that we feel the Fire of His Being igniting the altar of our hearts.
“Come now therefore, and I will send thee…”
God has a very simple and powerful remedy for us all: Prayer. The kind where we meet with Him and spend time alone in the holy atmosphere of His majesty. Not prayers asking Him for things, but prayers of communion where we learn to simply wait, child-like, without any other need but HIM. It is as we thus wait upon Him that we will find a renewing of our strength and a rising up to the honour of doing His Will. Prayer to the true child of God is not optional; it is the essential element of a fruitful life in Christ!
Eternal destinies are bound within our faithfulness to the talents He has graciously given us. The slothful, disobedient and the careless reap the disregard they show to the deposits of His gifts to us.
“And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine…”
To which Jesus declares:
“And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth”
“It is not the incorrect that the Lord despises but the proud; it is not the hot or the cold that the Lord spews out of his mouth but the lukewarm. When we are standing still out of fear of being wrong, we will certainly be regarded by him as ‘wicked and slothful’ not cautiously prudent.”
– Eric Foley
One of the great benefits of prayer is His redeeming presence. In touching Him we are reminded afresh of Him being our reference point concerning the temper and attitude of our hearts. It is in His presence where the impartation of His greatness, His gentleness, His Fire and peace strike the core of our hearts to restore a “right spirit” within us. It is easy to get carried away in the commotions without, the antagonism of the world and the stress of everyday life. Without the communion with Him in prayer it is easy to fall into the morass of self-wherein we fail to “take heed” to our ways and our words.
There is a quiet filled with the power of His dynamic life, ever moving, ever flowing and yet garmented in a stillness and peace which ever settles and stills our hearts. It is in this great presence we are afforded the divine enablement to become subdued and “right” before Him.
It is in our communion with Him where we touch the immensity and grandeur of His being. Humility is simply the fruit of touching His Presence. In our seeing of Him we see ourselves. Pride, anxiety, sorrow and our human-ness are engulfed in His Divinity. Our seeing of the situations around us, the broken relationships, the animosity of others and the perplexities of our own hearts become clarified and our path to walk through them become clear and filled with the dominion of His peace.
Prayer is God’s answer to the human condition. Time with Him is the only place where we can truly “take heed” to ourselves. Truth is more than words and teachings. Truth is revealed in the essence of the character in which we walk. The majesty of Christ was not only in the words He spoke but the life He lived. It was His life which gave weight to His words and so will it be with us. Prayer becomes the essential element to a life of change within the nucleus of our being. He is and ever will be our hope and source of life.
Effectual prayers arise from hearts who offer them in the same disposition as Christ Himself.
Liberty to pray effectually comes from our being in the Spirit of Christ.
“Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty”
2 Corinthians 3:17