In my last post, “How Bad Do You Want To Be Transformed? part 1”, we discussed the absolute necessity of reading the Truth on a daily, if not regular, basis.
This week I’d like to impress upon you the absolute necessity of prayer. Reading and prayer go together like a hand in a glove. It’s prayer that keeps the heart soft so that the Truth of the Word of God can seep in. The Word inspires and encourages us to be in constant prayer.
Without prayer and an open dialog with the Teacher, reading the Word will not yield any fruit. Those that are not seeking may read the Word but unless their hearts are turned toward God they will continue to have “ears that cannot hear” and “eyes that cannot see”.
Prayer is faith in practice.
Hebrews 11: 1 Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.
The problem I’ve always had with prayer is that I could not see God. The idea (from a secular perspective) of conversing with an invisible being was always difficult for me. I think I prayed only because I did believe in God and I was always told that prayer works. This means that I did not have a personal conviction about prayer and I did not have much of a relationship with God. What this translated to was I prayed typically when things were going wrong and they were superficial at best.
Perhaps you don’t have much of a habit for prayer now and your prayers are short and superficial. Perhaps you just want to enrich your prayer life. Let’s see what we can do to change that…
Just like reading, prayer started out as a habit for me, something I made myself do. I knew I wanted to read the Bible regularly and that started me thinking more about God and how He operates. So one prayer that I think God was delighted to hear was “Lord, I want to know you more. As I read your Word please reveal yourself to me.” I still pray this prayer and He keeps answering. It’s a wonderful thing to stay hungry for God. This is one way to keep fresh and deepen the relationship. So what started out as a habit, praying because I knew I needed to, developed into a lifestyle. “I should probably pray” turned into “I can’t wait to pray”.
We were two worlds apart, God and I. He was in His realm and I was in mine. I did what I did and He did what He did. Little did I realize that He really wanted me to get to know Him more. Now I know that He’s always been interested in me and that He really has my best interests in mind. So my prayer life brought us closer together and now we’re working together, He and I.
James 4: 8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.
Another great thing about reading the Bible is all the wonderful prayers that the godly men and women prayed. There is a lot to be learned from the prayers already prayed and had tremendous results.
Would you like results? Consider this:
James 5: 16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. 17 Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years! 18 Then, when he prayed again, the sky sent down rain and the earth began to yield its crops.
The keywords here are “righteous person” and “prayed earnestly“. Doesn’t this give you hope?
If you persist in this transformation process that I am laying out in these messages I am convinced that God will lead you to the abundant life that He’s promised. He will hear your prayers and your life will change dramatically.
Psalm 105: 4 Search for the LORD and for his strength;
continually seek him.
Will you pray with me?
“Dear Lord, Thank you for calling me into this most incredible relationship. I was a wreck and now I have hope. You’ve led me in ways that amaze me. Nothing compares to you, my Lord. Thank you for your Word that allows me to get to know you better. Thank you for being there when I call on your name. Please lead me down your path. Change my heart, help me to see people from your perspective and love them as you do. In Jesus precious name, amen”