I've always felt like I was "better" at Bible study than prayer (as if the two could be separated!) My prayer life always felt more proper than passionate. For the most part, Bible study and prayer existed in separate compartments. Perhaps you can relate?
The problem is compartmentalizing the Word and prayer is like withholding fuel from fire. As we read, study, memorize, meditate, and do the Word, we are invited to continually ask, seek and knock. He wrote it. He knows how it works. And He invites us into a continual conversation with Him. Beth Moore once said, "A prayerless life is a powerless life." Why?
When we praise Him in prayer, we experience how praise reorients our lives around Him rather than revolving around ourselves. When we thank Him in prayer, we recount His faithfulness in the past, remember His goodness in the present, and are reminded of His trustworthiness for the future. When we petition Him in prayer, to do in and through us what we know with certainty is His will, sparks fly. Because only in prayer can we invite His presence and power to move through us.
Prayerlessness is powerlessness because we are essentially saying, I've got this under control.
In the past 6 months, God has moved in ways I could not have imagined. He's opened over a dozen doors to share the gospel, drawn 9 people to a saving relationship with Himself, and shepherded 5 into active discipleship relationships.
God is simply looking for those who are available. He has the agenda and He does the accomplishing. But He often prompts us as we pray.
Luke 11:9 is your personal invitation to engage in an ongoing conversation with God the Creator and Saviour. He is inviting you to ask Him, seek Him and knock on His door.
Throughout your day, talk to Him about HE (praise and thanks), bring Him your ME (what you need Him to give you, forgive you for and delive[r] you from), and remember that you are invited to persist in conversation with Him because He wants a WE. He will pour out the Holy Spirit on those who ask Him (v.13), so please, ask Him.
God wants a WE with you, an actual intimate relationship. The WE that HE wants to accomplish through the power of the Holy Spirit in your life trumps the best version of "ME" you could muster up.
Get Into the Word: Luke 11:1-12
(HCSB, courtesy of Biblegateway.com)
1 He was praying in a certain place, and when He finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John also taught his disciples.”
2 He said to them, “Whenever you pray, say:
Your name be honored as holy.
Your kingdom come.
3 Give us each day our daily bread.
4 And forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves also forgive everyone
in debt to us.
And do not bring us into temptation.”
5 He also said to them: “Suppose one of you has a friend and goes to him at midnight and says to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread,6 because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I don’t have anything to offer him.’ 7 Then he will answer from inside and say, ‘Don’t bother me! The door is already locked, and my children and I have gone to bed. I can’t get up to give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, even though he won’t get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his friend’s persistence, he will get up and give him as much as he needs.
9 “So I say to you, keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.11 What father among you, if his son[l] asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”
Dialogue with God...
- Lord, who is to be the first focus of my prayers? Spend at least 3 minutes praising and thanking God for who He is and what He's done in your life. How did praise reorient your mind?
- Lord, who is the second focus of Your example of prayer? What did you teach the disciples to ask for on behalf of themselves?
- Lord, in what way am I invited to pray? What do You compare persistent prayer to? What am I invited to ask for (v.13)?
Accept this divinely beautiful invitation to converse with the Most High and invite Him to do what only He can do in and through your life.
Converse about HE, ME & WE; Repeat.
Only by grace,