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Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Connecting with God in prayer

Isn't it interesting that we have become a people who constantly search for gratification? And don't immediately jump to the conclusion that I am talking about sexual gratification. But gratification in life in general.

It can happen in our walk with God as well. When a person repeatedly experiences dryness and emptiness in both their spiritual and secular life, it is common for people to think if not say, "there must be some way I can still get a kick out of life."

In life, it's called a "midlife crisis," where there is a lack of gratification at work, in relationships and other experiences of life. In this setting, when the usual means of satisfaction dry up, many seek other experiences to replace them.

But this can also happen in our spiritual life as well. We discover a new way of connecting with God that brings significant peace and centeredness. When that happens we believe that we have found "the way" to God.

But then it quickly dries up and becomes one more routine. It becomes boring like everything else we have tried. We try to renew our efforts, but it just doesn't work.

And then we look around with increasing desperation for something, anything that might be fresh, dynamic and exciting.

Here's the trap: WE BECOME MORE INTERESTED IN GETTING A GRATIFYING EXPERIENCE FROM PRAYER THAN IN THE LOVE THAT HAS PROMPTED THE PRAYER IN THE FIRST PLACE."

As one author put it, "we become more interested in the pennies in the hand of God, than the hand of God itself."

Let these thoughts dwell in your spirit today.

2 comments:

Youth Extreme said...

Seeking a "God Experiance" daily often leads to frustration and doubt about Gods presence in our life. Many mornings during my prayer times my thoughts wonder, my focus is fuzzy and I feel like God is very distant. The key to this are the words "I feel". Because as humans we rely on feelings we think God has left us or not present. Galatians (message ver. states)
Answer this question: Does the God who lavishly provides you with his own presence, his Holy Spirit, working things in your lives you could never do for yourselves, does he do these things because of your strenuous moral striving or because you trust him to do them in you?
Galatians 3:4-6

We must learn to trust that God is always there and not trust in feelings. I will never leave you nor forsake you is great comfort to me during my times of no feelings.

I am comforted knowing this and trusting in Gods words and promises.

Teresa O. said...

This is exactly what God has been teaching me lately. He recently had me move my devotion time from evenings to mornings. It's been a struggle for me as I'm a "clock watcher" and know my time is more limited having to leave for work. He is teaching me how to not make this a routine as I can see how easily it could become ensuring my morning time of reading and quick prayers for the day. I see this is becoming a routine which is good, but could also be negative if I miss out on waiting on Him during this time. I have to ensure I find time to wait and listen to what he wants to tell me and the morning routine is making it difficult for me. I know it is not what He can give or do for me. I am desperate for Him and want to spend time with him because I/we are fortunate to be called his friend and I need to connect with him. I know I just want more than saying “this is my devotion time.”

I do not want to be like the Israelites who stood outside the Tent of Meetings" when Moses and Aaron went in to hear from God. They never entered into His presence. I don't want to be a Sunday Christian hearing the word from someone else and then saying my routine devotion is enough. It’s evident that the Israelites were these kinds of Christians and they did nothing but grumbled and complained by everything they heard and saw. How many in the church do the same because of their “routine.” If they constantly find they don’t like anything in the church - the pastor, the music, the large groups, smalls groups, then perhaps it’s because they are Sunday Christians who have nothing more than a routine in their walk with God. I can see where this morning time could become just that – only receiving a word, but not being in His presence to hear from Him myself. I want more of God because I need Him, but mostly because he desires a relationship with me and I do not want to miss out on this wonderful privilege of grace. And when I take time to listen to Him, he keeps me in check. It’s easy to grumble and complain when I’m walking in my flesh and not in His spirit. My time must be more than a routine so I learn to walk in Him and with Him.