“Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.”—Lamentations 3:41
The act of prayer teaches us our unworthiness, which is a very salutary lesson for such proud beings as we are.
If God gave us favours without constraining us to pray for them we should never know how poor we are, but a true prayer is an inventory of wants, a catalogue of necessities, a revelation of hidden poverty. While it is an application to divine wealth, it is a confession of human emptiness.
The most healthy state of a Christian is to be always empty in self and constantly depending upon the Lord for supplies; to be always poor in self and rich in Jesus; weak as water personally, but mighty through God to do great exploits; and hence the use of prayer, because, while it adores God, it lays the creature where it should be, in the very dust.
Prayer is a daily, sometimes minute-by-minute, connection between Jesus and us. Prayer is the way we talk, plead, praise, and give thanks to Jesus.
Like an ongoing conversation between close friends, prayer can be intimate or seemingly superficial — jumping in minutes from a lighthearted account of everyday blessings and frustrations to an in-depth commentary on our deepest fears and needs.
At other times, prayer is silent. When we don’t have the words to explain our emotions, we can trust the Holy Spirit to communicate what words can’t (Romans 8:26). The same way a good friend will hold our hand and embrace the silence, or lend us a shoulder to cry on, we can sit in God’s presence and say all we need to say without speaking a word.
“Lord, make me as holy as a pardoned sinner can be made.” This prayer, often found on the lips of Robert Murray McCheyne, strikes a chord in every Christian soul. When the Holy Spirit makes his home in us, holiness ceases to be the stuffy obligation we thought it was. All of a sudden, holiness feels like heaven in our hearts, and every earthly longing bows the knee to this burning, bright desire: “Lord, make me holy.”
I posted several articles on some ideas about outlines for prayer lists, topics to include, etc. But what I wanted to talk about to day is how I’ve adjusted my prayer list over the years to become more efficient and inclusive.
First of all, don’t be afraid to be organized. I remember people telling me that they don’t have a list, they just let God tell them what and who to pray for. Well, that’s not His job. Sure He’ll burden you with things that you should add, but the content of your daily pray is something you need to compile and maintain.
A man was sleeping at night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled, with light, and God appeared. The Lord told the man he had work for him to do, and showed him a large rock in front of his cabin.
The Lord explained that the man was to push against the rock with all his might. So, this the man did, day after day. For many years he toiled from sun up to sun down; his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing with all of his might.
Each night the man returned to his cabin sore and worn out, feeling that his whole day had been spent in vain.