"For the LORD watches over the path of the godly" ~Psalm 1:6a (NLT)
Yeah, I am definitely a word person... So I guess it would be natural for me to gravitate toward prayer. After the work of Christ on the cross, prayer is the ultimate Love language between God and man. In addition to the above listing, I have also grown into a love and gifting of prayer; and, I truly believe that Christians far too often, and far too greatly, underestimate the gift we have been given in the form of Prayer. Prayer is often seen as a way to "unburden" ourselves. It's true, and very important, but it is more than that. What has the possibility of taking place in prayer is much more than lifting a heavy burden. What we receive from God at the foot of the Cross in prayer is nothing less than supernatural Grace to live a life more abundantly, walk and not get weary, and run and not faint...and let me tell you, man's efforts do not accomplish the righteousness of God. Only Grace received through prayer can do that!
What we get:
Power - Don't misunderstand, the power is not of us, but of God whose Grace is defined as: "merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues." (BlueLetterBible.org, Greek Lexicon, Strong's Number 5485) By HIS power, through Grace, we get to do stuff that our make our heart's fail at all other times!
Purpose - God speaks, and everything becomes clear. No matter how much we may plan, until God reveals the purpose of a thing, person, or situation, we are usually trapped in confusion, distracted, discouraged, and we undermine our own success. By His Grace, through prayer we get understanding and purpose.
Peace - One of our Make Mondays Matter writers has a saying that I have come to love and understand. She, Toca, says, "I follow my Peace." What she means is that when she is confronted with a decision, she acknowledges God in prayer and then she takes the path that fills her heart with peace. That is a great way to live, and it is a great gift from the opportunity of prayer. God may not always speak clearly about the direction we should take. Sometimes we just have to seek peace in prayer and walk along the path that is filled with the peace of God.
Protection - The image shared in this week's blog is a great visual of how the Christian walk is filled with briers, thorns, and snags; but also of how Jesus carries us through the darkest hours protecting us, and what we have invested in our Christian Faith. Through prayer we can invite Jesus to take control of our life, and He can carry us through the minefields that only His eyes can see.
Provision - Last but not least, but never forgotten either, we get provision for life and ministry. This is probably the most widely used purpose for prayer, yet it is one of the main reasons God truly loves for us to pray. If you read and meditate on the Old Testament of the Bible, you really start to get a picture of God's character, and you will begin to realize that He loved to show how great of a God He is by sending provision in miraculous ways. Not only in the Old Testament of course, but something about how He yearned for His people to trust Him for their every need, and how He richly filled them with abundance in the Old Testament is simply...breathtaking at times. In short, very little provision comes outside of prayer. Seek it, receive it!
This wealth of goodness coming through prayer is not just to keep us on our knees with self in mind. Let's use these as guided prayer points when we pray for others. Paul admonished Timothy, "that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness." ~1 Timothy 2:1-2 (NIV) When we have the Grace of God giving us all we need through prayer, and the Grace of God giving others all they need, we can then truly say, together in unity, with overflowing evidence, that prayer changes things!
Make it a Prayer-filled Monday Friends!