Daily Devotional – I’m Normal.™ I AM Ministries
“To promote Godly living in a culture committed to destroying it”
Monday, August 29, 2016
How’s your prayer life? If I asked you to assign a grade to your prayer life on a scale of one to ten, where do you think you would fall? These are questions all Christians struggle with and lately I’ve been convicted that I’m not as close to ten as I’d like to be. But before we all grade ourselves, let’s look at some of the questions we should be asking in order to determine the answer.
Are you consistent and regular in your praying? Do you have a daily time alone with God, or are you haphazard in your praying, finding yourself drifting into prayerlessness unless a problem or crisis comes up? Are you growing in your prayer life, or do you feel you’ve slipped into a spiritual rut in your ability to approach God in prayer? When you pray, do you find your mind tends to wander? Is praying boring to you, simply an obligation, or do you view it as an opportunity for fellowship with God? Do you frequently find yourself running out of things to say as you pray? When was the last time you really felt the presence of God when you were praying?
If you’re like most Christians, including me, these questions point out how our prayer lives often lack the fulfillment we desire – or more to the point, as wonderful as God would like them to be. In fact, it may appear as if we are wasting a lot of time praying. Much of what we call prayer may not be true prayer at all. Instead it may just be babble – rote, repetitious and ritualistic mutterings, and selfish, greedy, begging. We may have slipped into that rut where our prayers are dull, emotionless, mindless, thoughtless, powerless, routine, and mostly ineffective. So how do we climb out of the rut that we’ve slipped into?
As usual, God give us guidance in His Holy Word. Twice in the New Testament He advises us it is normal to “pray in the Spirit”. This guidance points out the fact that there are only two ways to pray – in the flesh and in the Spirit. God tells us twice that if we want to grow closer to Him, it is imperative for us to learn to pray in the Spirit, and by implication, not in the flesh. Here’s what He says: “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, keep on praying for all the saints.” (Ephesians 6:18). “But you my friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.” (Jude 20).
To pray in the Spirit, we need to pray in fellowship with God, praying under the control and direction of the Holy Spirit. To do this, we must pray in the Spirit’s agenda, not our own. Instead of focusing on strictly our agenda and our needs, we need to pray over the items He directs us to pray over. This means asking His guidance regarding His wishes, not our own. We need to listen to Him, submit our hearts to Him, and then pray in the direction of the burden He gives us in His mercy and grace.
God has a perfect plan and a will for every situation and circumstance. The Spirit will tell us what to pray about as well as how to pray over it. Our goal in prayer is to discern His will and to pray it into reality. The goal of praying is not to persuade God to come over to our side, to our point of view – He’s already on our side (Romans 8:31). Our goal should be to change our own hearts and desires so we are praying in accordance with His perfect will, where He uses us to complete His work. When we pray in the Spirit, we also pray in His authority. Because He is the ultimate authority, God will answer our prayers the way they are prayed because they are in His will.
God tells us it is normal to pray in the Spirit so He can bless us richly. I hope your prayer life is already so glorious you have claimed victory in your prayer life and scored a “ten” on the test. I hope this devotional was unnecessary for you, meaning that you already have your prayer life in tip-top shape. For those of you, like me, who still need some work, remember His advice to pray in the Spirit. This is the only way to a normal and meaningful prayer life.
A servant of Jesus Christ
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