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Monday, October 03, 2005

The true intent of prayer

If God is sovereign over everything why do we pray? Good question!

I suppose that many times we ask that question because we misunderstand the true intent of prayer.

I've heard it said something like this, "prayer is not to change the mind of God, prayer is to change me!"

That is so true. When I pray, I am encouraged, I am lifted up, life is put back into perspective, I receive peace, love and joy.

I become more and more aware of the hand of God in my life and grow in my sense of gratitude toward God.

Reading the Psalms is life changing because David is so open and vulnerable. He opens himself up to God and God responds.

In prayer there is spiritual, mental and emotional life.

Let me give you a quote from Jack Hayford and then ask you to respond to what you think the meaning of the quote is:

"there is a LIFE to being spirit filled, not a LOOK to being spirit filled."

My interpretation of that is this: walking with God is not so much how I act or react between 9:00 A.M. and 12:00 P.M. in our big building here at First Assembly. It's how I converse and grow in God throughout the week.

My life in God is not to be fueled by times of corporate gatherings but celebrated as we gather together to rejoice together at the lessons that God has taught us throughout the week.

Most of those lessons come through prayer. Conversing with God. Speaking and listening. Enjoying God's presence.


Jon said...

"there is a LIFE to being spirit filled, not a LOOK to being spirit filled."

We should be Spirit filled all the time, working for God's purpose and being guided by the Holy Spirit. When days are hard, when tragedy occurs, when we just can't seem to get our head out of the muck and avoid the temptations of the enemy, those are times when it's easiest to get into prayer and "find" God. Having spent time "away" from God, and looking back, I've learned that God is never lost...I AM! I don't have to find God, He's right here with me...comforting, providing wisdom, easing my burden, loving ME!

Sunday mornings are great but I've learned that they're only great for Sunday goes on after I walk out of the building and if I don't keep my focus on God, then I stumble. The Holy Spirit helps to provide that focus and God should be evident in all that we do...that should be our goal, even if we have trouble meeting it! The dream (and I loved last night's service...that young man is on fire!) of our church is to reach all of Calhoun's a large dream, and some would say not possible. But we all KNOW, though some in word only--not in true understanding and acceptance, that there is nothing that is impossible for our God.

Show people Jesus through what you do every the love of Jesus in all that you every thing, work for the glory of God! I hold these words close to my heart and in the front of my mind because that's what our Lord expects of us...but even more, it's what I expect of myself for His sacrifice. His world, His work, His way...let's all be His!

God bless


BTW, good to have you back, Pastor George!

Teresa O. said...

I like George's interpretation of ""there is a LIFE to being spirit filled, not a LOOK to being spirit filled." However, if I look at this quote alone and not linking it to prayer the first thing that comes to mind is "by their fruits you will know them." For me, Christ expects us to be spirit filled and to make sure our fruits are evident as others are always watching. It’s one thing to be “seen” at church Sunday after Sunday, but it is more important to be living for God daily, away from others, so we don’t lead people away from the Truth and salvation. Prayer helps us “walk the talk.”

Jesus always prayed and we need to model him . We need time away from others to hear what the Father wants to say to us. The Lord wants to direct us, to give us peace, joy and to fill us with His Spirit. We need Him to keep us from walking in the flesh which cause us (me) to grumble, complain, and frankly, to be more irritated with people. I just don’t handle things very good when I’m on my own. When I spend time in prayer, it does change me and I need time in prayer because otherwise I walk in my human, sinful nature. God created me to worship him, which is what prayer is for, but it is also because he loves us enough to want to fellowship with us. He wants to hear from us in order to act in our daily lives. I pray because God desires to talk to me, to hear from, and to be my best friend.