This was a summer of profound spiritual growth. So, my first few blog posts will cover some things God was faithful to teach me. Last week, I talked about modeling the life you want to see lived in your people, whether it’s your children or your workplace. This is part two of “how I spent my summer vacation:”
2. Pray Powerful Prayers.
Prayer is the greatest power God has ever given us, and most of us have such anemic prayer lives because of our lack of obedience. I’ve been reading “With Christ in the School of Prayer” by Andrew Murray. Murray makes the point that, most of the time, we pray to God as if He were a genie, asking Him to grant us something that will enhance our selfish desires. Then, we’re surprised when it doesn’t get answered, as if anything about the prayer we prayed honored and glorified Him. Instead, prayer is about asking God to give us what we need to live holy, obedient lives according to His will and His calling. In other words, how we were created to live. The whole idea of living any old way we want, against our calling and God’s design for our lives, and being ultimately joyful and content in it or expecting God to bless it through our prayer, is a pernicious lie.
When Jesus says in John 15, “if you abide in Me, and my words abide in you, ask what you desire, and it shall be given you”, He’s telling us that abiding in Him is a precondition to praying prayer that gets an answer. Why would He empower me to do work that was out of sync with His mission? Why do I miss that so often? He’s teaching me that I have to wake each morning and pray that His Holy Spirit will help bring me in alignment with His will, His mission, His purposes for that day. That I will live for Him. Also, that I will confess my sin before Him every day, not just flippantly or summarily, but they way I would if I had really wronged someone I loved that day or the day before (because, you know what? I have.) If I stand with clean hands before Him, and my heart, my desires, and my needs are lined up with Christ’s, I won’t have to ask whether my prayer is within “His will.” That will be a question without meaning.
If I live within His will, in obedience to Him, anything I ask will be given. You have the power to move the heart of God to do something He might not do otherwise. That was true of Abraham, Moses, and you. You are no different; you have the same power they had. It is within your hands, within your grasp—it always has been as long as you have been His.
You can do this. This is a lay down, y’all. God wants to give this to you—He gives you the Holy Spirit to make this happen for you if you ask for it in His Name. That’s a powerful promise, and it’s how we were created to live and the only way we’ll really ever be fully content.