Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Rediscovering the Power of Prayer

 5Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  6In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.  7Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. -Proverbs 3:5-7(KJV) 

As followers of Christ we know one of the goals of our faith is to be lead by the Lord.  Therefore we look to verses such as Proverbs 3:5, 6 to encourage us to trust in the Lord rather than ourselves.  However, sometimes we overlook the verse which follows.  This verse challenges us to reject our own wisdom in favor of the wisdom God brings to our lives.  Such wisdom comes over time through applying God’s Word to our lives and walking daily in a personal relationship with Christ.  Departing from evil involves a rejection of behaviors, thoughts, attitudes, and practices which stand in opposition to God’s Word.   

How does this come about?  The answer is we build into our lives a lifestyle of living by faith in Jesus Christ.  I have conversations with people who want to exercise and take better care of themselves physically, yet they fail to do so.  Physical exercise, like our faith, must be built into our daily lives.  I know from personal experience how eating less and exercising more is indeed a challenge. I also know rising every day before daylight to spend time in prayer and meditation in God’s Word is also a tremendous challenge. 

This is why last winter I undertook the challenge of rising every morning at 4:15 AM for 40 days to commune with the Lord.  This experience had such a profound effect on my life that I continued to rise earlier after the 40 day period was over.  I also discovered closeness to God through prayer which I had never before experienced.  Make no mistake about it; the early morning hour can be a challenge, especially for someone like me who is not a morning person. 

What we learn from deeper and more committed prayer is how best to live for the Lord every day.  Christ empowers us to have more peace, joy, and calm in the face of the problems we encounter.  We also discover how best to sort out the challenges of our often hectic lives.  There is another benefit from drawing closer to God, and this is spiritual strength for walking forward in faith.  The storms of life may rage around us, yet we will not be afraid.  David of the Old Testament knew what he was taking about when he said, “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1).   

The more we pray and seek the Lord the closer to Him we are, and the closer to Christ we are the greater our spiritual power for facing the trials of life.  Do not wander in weakness and do not be guided by fear.  Instead, be lead by the Holy Spirit. 

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