Prayer is key to our spiritual maturity. As we look towards spiritual development as our theme for the next quarter, I asked a sister in Christ who has consistently been coming for morning prayers to share her thoughts.
Recently, I kept asking myself, “How then shall I live?” God gave this challenge and promise:‘Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.’ (Psalm 34:8) There is no other way, no other sustainable option, EXCEPT to hang on to God. And prayer is the outward expression of this conviction.
A few years ago I was caught in the fad of making your own bread. I won’t call it cooking. The bread maker manufacturer promises something that smells and tastes good if the recipe is followed exactly. It’s different from my style. For me, it’s a dash of this, a pinch of that and a sprinkle of another – every outcome is unique and not created again.
My favorite author, John Ortberg gave this recipe for a vibrant prayer life – “unresolved problems, unfulfilled desires and a mustard seed of faith”. I was rather intrigued with this recipe. According to him, God created us with desires and they should point us back to God who is ableto fulfill them and bring them to reality.
Like many of us, it’s “problems” that really bring me to my knees. Like most can-do modern man, I have few problems with no solution except those, well, mundane matters of health and relationship issues. Could that probably explain why I don’t seem to have a vibrant prayer life? No problems, no faith needed. So the equation fails and the equation collapses?
So I set out to ask those who seem to have a vibrant prayer life for their secret ingredient. They must have, ‘cause they faithfully come for dawn prayer! The short answers from them: DESIRE.
Desire to be ignited and fueled by the Holy Spirit.
Desire to seek God. To hear His heartbeat.
Desire for close communion with the Holy Spirit, every moment.
Desire to pray. For self and others.
Desire for victory in spiritual warfare. For we fight not against flesh and blood.
Desire to be obedient to God’s Word and to church leadership.
Desire to cultivate discipline, faithfulness, and stewardship. A soldier in God’s army.
Desire to be blessed. Above and beyond even the wildest imagination.
And so I began attending corporate prayer meetings. A few exciting things happened:
· A sense of wholeness and balance – body, soul, and spirit.
· Increased sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s leading. And a willingness to obey.
· Physical healing (of which I am a sceptic)
At one prayer meeting, I felt the urge to pray for myself. I had a problem described by doctors as ‘stress or pressure on the nerves’ causing great discomfort. (I have a high pain threshold but not for discomfort). Anyway, with nothing to lose, I placed my right hand on my left arm. Instantly, I felt a tingling sensation that probably lasted only a second. I couldn’t be sure BUT when something irritating disappears, I knew I just experienced a miracle!
Another time, probably the first time I prayed for a financial blessing. Even as I prayed, I was worried … how is God going to make it happen? He proved to me what ‘beyond even the wildest imagination’ means – for the first time, I received an advance salary! I can’t believe it actually happened!
With God’s conviction in my life and the many witnesses around me, wouldn’t I be a fool to ignore this ‘recipe’ for life?
HC, God Chaser