It’s intriguing to think about, why do people pray?
We keep hoping for and talking about revival. How will this come about? There is one essential part that will burst the lid off and blast it into existence. Revival starts with me. It starts with you. With each one of us hungering and thirsting for more of God’s presence. Hold on hold on, I know you want to hear about one of those times. Right?
I know that one of the most incredible ways to experience the Lord, is face to face or in other words, prayer.
Let’s be honest first. OK? Have you ever struggled in this area of your relationship with God? Just between you and me, I have. I know that it is because somewhere inside of me I am deeply aware that it is going to cost me something of myself. What is it going to cost? To be honest with you, I know it is going to cost me ‘honesty.’
The concept that I am not in control and cannot handle the storms and hardships of my life, on my own, has a sharp piercing sting to it at times. When I finally come to acknowledge what I am not, then I can realize that only honest-to-God honesty will do. Instead of being apprehensive, wondering if He still cares, because I know, that I have hardly come to Him unless I’ve been in need, I can lunge toward my Savior. And when I do come to Him, watch out, because there’ve been times when I have ‘honestly’ enjoyed it!
I promise I’ll tell you…
I have noticed that in some people’s lives including mine, there comes a time when our routine prayer becomes – not enough. The talk about prayer being time set aside as, “I meet with God while I am driving to work,” or “I get my cup of coffee, my Bible, and my prayer going first thing in the morning,” doesn’t seem to quite cut it for us anymore. We want more. What happens when we really really meet with God?
I have wanted this. Have you?
These are the times when I have had life-changing encounters with Him. During my relentless pursuits of God, the quests that are more intense than the every day, day to day type, often come in mysterious ways and at odd unexpected times.
Jeanne Guyon wrote, “The heart is all important if we are to go forward in Christ. Once the heart has been gained by God, everything else will eventually take care of itself.”
I was on a walk under the power lines adjacent to my neighborhood. My dog and I had walked about 2 miles, turned around and were heading back. The sun was now beating on my face, and I felt perspiration starting to well up on my forehead. “Are we there yet? Are we half way there yet?” These are some of the questions we asked as little kids on a road trip, but I felt this at that moment.
When I was near the bend at the bridge, the bend that heads back to my neck of the woods (it’s really large shrubs that we call trees, but that’s what we have here), I felt the prompting of the Lord to turn and go alongside the natural wash.
The word wash is a fancy way of saying a runoff for the overflow of the monsoon rain’s intensity. It is filled with sand and has small boulder type rocks forming dams to keep the water from gushing too fast toward all of our ‘pretty’ houses.
He was calling me to meet with Him. At an unexpected time. “Right now Lord? I am hot and tired.”
As I turned in the direction of the Lord’s leading, I felt this sense of expectancy overtaking me. Exhausted, from walking in the sand, my legs were begging me to stop. I could now feel the drawing of the Lord, and I wanted nothing to stop me. But eventually, my legs did give way to fatigue, so I chose to sit a bit on one of the boulders as my dog took up her stance as the vicious guard dog (see picture). Since it was hot and the sun was blinding, I naturally faced away from its rays.
Face the other way; I heard the Lord whisper to my heart. “OK.” As I slowly spun around, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the weighty presence of God. I closed my eyes because the sun was bright and before I did, I also tried to line myself up with the small bit of shade from a tree that had just budded forth its spring leaves.
I thought I saw a cloud in the vision inside of my head. But when I opened my eyes it was still there. It was drawing me into it. As I became fully encompassed in the cloud, it felt and looked like a film or misty vapor with shimmering lights that twinkled on and off. It was more like these gleaming particles of glory were appearing out of nowhere.
I could hardly breathe, and my whole entire ‘self’ was caught up as if I was in a vacuum in which the air changes its density. For the first time in my life, I was enveloped in God’s presence; His glory surrounded me. And what I was most aware of was the incredible fact that there was the complete absence of fear. No fear at all!
I have often wondered, what is the purpose of prayer? Isn’t it the constantly continued fellowship with the most loving gracious all-knowing powerful holy God? If this is true then when I give Him the fullest response of my heart, I am fixing my attention fully on His face. What does His face look like? I don’t know (I am not Moses hee hee), but I do know that it is beautiful. We can be sure of that.
In that intense moment with God, I wanted Him to have my honest heart. All of me.
Prayer is the outpouring of the soul. Unreserved love on display. Could this be one of the highest forms of worship? When I pray, and my focus turns to the Lord, beholding Him, then expressions of passionate adoration flow from the depths of my being. Devoted to Him with undistracted love, completely enthralled in His presence as I exclaim, “I just want You, Lord.”
Are the ‘power lines’ in your life that you walk under daily, causing you to break out in a heated perspiration, or are they secretly beckoning you to come and take a detour into a much more powerful place?
Caught up in prayer, enveloped in the presence of the Lord?
Is that what the purpose of prayer is to you?
Post a comment down at the bottom of this blog post about your ideas on prayer…