[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death . . . Philippians 3:10 Amplified
It’s time to be completely candid about something I’ve only alluded to in several previous posts. There is the risk you might not see it the same way, but I welcome thoughtful and Scriptural comments – even of disagreement. It is important for you to know why I write as I do now. Life in Christ is a journey that doesn’t end until we are permanently home with Him. What I thought I understood of Christ and prayer at the beginning of my writing journey has helped me see Him as I do today – so much brighter and clearer. In another ten years, I expect to be just as changed by what He reveals to me going forward that I cannot see today, and have it reflected in my writing, as well. May your journey in Christ be enriched by reading another of my conversations with the Lord.
I awoke so very early this morning, Lord. Though I tried to go back to sleep, I could tell I was awake for the day, and I thank You. It’s so nice and quiet in the house right now – a special time to be alone with You. Do You want me to pray now?
Pray without ceasing.
Okay, I hear what I think You’re saying. It’s been niggling at the recesses of my mind for a while now – pretty much every time I say things like, “Do You want me to pray now?”
If this thing called prayer truly is communion or communication with You, which results from being together in silence or in word, then Your statement actually asks when it is not prayer. When do You not hear my thoughts? When are You not with me? When am I not with You? There are times when I am not consciously aware of Your Presence, but Your Presence is not a mental place. It is, rather, a constant, ongoing place with and in You. It is not an action itself, though action might result.
This place called prayer is the result of being born again, pure and simple. Religion has made it a science, a formula, a theorem (if we do and say it this way, we get this result), a work of our own strength, even a duty that we’re told will become a delight. Since when does that happen?!
I have been asking You for a while now, Lord, to show me just what prayer is, because I’ve had this uncomfortable stirring that we in Your body have been saying, “You need to pray,” and even teaching how to pray, when we don’t really know what prayer is. We know what we’ve called prayer, and what those who were praying before us called it, but as much as I see prayer mentioned in the Bible, I don’t see an explanation of it. Yet we’ve built doctrines around what we think it is and is not. Could it be that there is no specific definition to be found because it is a work of and with Your Spirit, which in itself defies definition? Defies pattern or formula? Requires resting in You and Your leading alone?
Lord, there is so much more to communing and communicating with You, and even working with You through this thing called prayer. We limit ourselves so much by saying “This is the way to pray.” Help me leave the mechanics behind, that I might simply flow with You by Your Spirit to touch whomever, whatever, and whenever You want to touch. To listen when You want to speak. To sit contentedly in times of silence with You.
This all feels so radical, upside-down, and inside-out, Lord. Yet, in this place, there is a smile in my heart and a sense of freedom I’ve not known in my safe, right-side-up, outside-in life. It’s not about me, but about You – knowing You more and declaring and decreeing Your will and Your kingdom and Your plans and purposes. Keep interrupting me when I start to say, “Let’s pray,” and ask again, “When did we stop?”