Prayer has been a common theme recently in my life. God is definitely emphasizing it in His lessons with me! Our pastor has been doing a fantastic sermon series on Daniel. This week he talked about Daniel 9. It was really good and I was just really convicted of my prayer life (or lack of one)!
So... I thought I'd highlight some of his points for my benefit as well as anyone else who would be interested.
1. God Ordains Prayer
The greatest of Christians, the ones whose lives bore great fruit also spent much time in prayer. George Mueller (a huge advocate for the orphans) said, "I know my God, and my God knows me." Through prayer, He grew to know God on a deep level, and the Lord blessed that! God ordains prayer, it is a gift to us, that we can come to Him and just talk.
Pastor Bob also made a really good statement that I liked, "A beautiful, honorable man or woman is not formed in 1/2 hour. It takes a lifetime of prayer and seeking God."
2. God Motivates Prayer
The motive for our prayer is for God to be glorified. If we make God the object in our prayer, then our motive is for Him to be glorified. I am continually asking myself if I am seeking God in prayer or just seeking my own desires. There is definitely a difference and I fall into the pothole of selfishly praying far too often.
3. God Answers Prayer
God answers EVERY prayer. Does He answer them the way we want to? Absolutely not. Does He answer them that He might be glorified? YES. And the most beautiful thing is that we have done NOTHING for our God to answer prayers. We have done nothing that our God would turn His ear to our pleas. But He does. Because of His great mercy. This mercy that He gives freely, that's new every morning!
"We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy."
In the past month God has been teaching me to pray with faith and expectancy. It is hard sometimes, but the least we can do is pray believing that God can and will answer in a way that will bring Him glory. As I've prayed for our friends the Semlows' adoption I've prayed for MIRACLES. As I've prayed for my trip to Guatemala I have been trying hard to pray for BIG things- things that only GOD in His mighty power to do. And trust that our God can and will answer in BIG ways. As soon as I started praying in that way the enemy whispered doubts and lies in my ear and I've had to learn to fight this- with more prayer!! God has shown Himself to us time and again so why do I have such unbelief and doubt?!
So as I continue on in my day I trust that my feeble prayers coming from my unrighteous heart are reaching the ears of the Almighty. And that He has heard and will answer in His time in His own way- to be glorified.