How an Awesome Vision is Helping Me Pray
Unable to sleep, I tried to pray.
I went through my mental list of people to lift before the Lord and then I stopped. I realized how often I hesitate when it’s time to pray for things affecting my family and myself.
Why is it easy to pray for others and so difficult to pray for me?
In my half-asleep state of mind, the two-part answer came to me. It’s…
- The “no” or at least “not now” answer I received a dozen years ago when I pleaded with God to prevent the crisis I saw coming, and…
- God’s ability to slowly turn that same crisis into good in my life.
I guess I started believing my hopes and desires were completely in God’s hands. God would do His will but His will was and is always best.
I do what I can do and trust God with the rest. And although there is some truth to that, I always felt like there was something missing from my prayer life.
Scripture says, “Never stop praying.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
And I wanted that. More than just morning and evening appointments with a few bullet prayers in between.
Believe me, I’ve searched for answers everywhere.
War Room inspired me. Before the Amen, by Max Lucado was excellent. And I loved Fervent, by Priscilla Shirer. Seriously, I can’t begin to count all the books, articles, and blog posts I’ve read about prayer but nothing gave me the consistent or lasting change I wanted.
How an Awesome Vision is Helping Me Pray
Back to my sleepless night and how the Holy Spirit used a vision to get my attention.
I was standing at the entrance to the throne room. The Father sat on the throne and His presence filled the space with radiant glory. Jesus sat on the throne to His right and the Spirit was holding open the curtain and inviting me in.
Then Jesus uttered another loud cry and breathed His last. And the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. Mark 15:37–38
He said to me, “Jesus gave His life so you can enter the throne room through this torn curtain.”
It hit me like a bolt of lightning. God—Father, Son, and Spirit . . . wanted me to come through that curtain and spend time with Him. He wanted to hear what was on my heart.
I didn’t need a War Room battle plan, the right words or perfect formula. It didn’t matter if my mind wandered or if my needs seemed childish.
My Father wanted to talk with me!
I was wrecked.
In my mind, I could see myself crumbling before Him. All I could say was, “I’m so sorry” and “please help me.”
I don’t want my children to only tell me what their friends are doing, I want them to talk with me about their hopes, dreams, concerns, struggles, joys . . . anything at all.
That’s what my Father wants. So much so, He invites me into the Holy of Holies to just sit with Him.
Since the other night, I’ve asked the Lord to show me another way to pray and He led me to Jesus’ words…
““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. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8
I’m praying like this…
1. Ask – Talk with the Father about everything.
- My joys – thanking Him for countless blessings.
- My struggles – my doubts and fears.
- My faith – to know Him better and love Him more.
- My flaws – forgiveness and strength to change.
- My relationships – my marriage, children, grandchildren, and friends.
- My bad habits – for help and strength to improve.
- My circumstances – for wisdom and understanding.
- My finances – to be a good steward of every blessing.
- My health – to make wise choices.
- My _________ – absolutely anything else that’s on my mind.
What an awesome honor to be able to enter through the torn curtain anytime I want. Seriously, day or night. No appointment necessary because I’m His precious child.
Think about it . . . the God of the universe calls you His child and He wants to talk with you about everything and anything.
2. Search – Go to His Word in prayer.
I love when my children ask me for advice. It’s even better when they take it. (Picture smiley face here.)
So, I’m going to His Word for His wise advice.
I’ve grabbed a pen and a journal and I’m writing down everything that speaks His truth to my heart and helps me know Him better.
Your Word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105
The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Psalm 32:8
There’s nothing like the written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us. 2 Timothy 3:15–17 (MSG)
3. Knock – Get up and go where God guides.
You can’t knock on a door while sitting in a chair or lying on the couch. You have to get up and go to the door. So…
With God’s help, I’m looking around and paying attention. Going where He leads me in answer to my prayers.
Obeying when He directs me to…
- See a doctor – for medicine or treatment.
- Call a friend – to take the first step toward healing a broken relationship.
- Throw away the candy and junk food – to improve my diet.
- Start a regular exercise plan – to feel stronger and enjoy life more.
- Cut up the credit cards and balance the checkbook – to start making wiser financial decisions.
- Invest in others – to have better friendships.
- Or wait and keep praying – until He gives me clear direction.
Obeying is the hard part, isn’t it. But don’t you just love it when your children take your advice and it blesses them.
Think about it…
Your Heavenly Father is inviting you through the torn curtain into the Holy of Holies. He wants you to spend time with Him—Father, Savior, Spirit, talking about every detail of your life. Then He wants to give you wise counsel and direction that will bless you when you follow it.
I think I’ve been making it too complicated. It’s really just as simple as asking, seeking, and knocking.
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I so appreciate your words about the torn curtain and the access we have in Christ. I’ve been pondering Romans 5:1,2 and my word for 2017 is Standing — a privilege completely unearned to be standing in right relationship with God so that I can come to Him in prayer.
Deb, I love how God speaks to us. He’s so creative and so personal. It warmed my heart when you said:
My Father wanted to talk with me! How blessed are we!!!
Deb, such a great visual for all of us visual learners ;)! Thanks for sharing and I love how God confirms a message through each other-I wrote about #FindingJoy by seeking Him first this week too. Even when being attacked by the enemy, we can go into that throne room and be present, cast our cares and then follow where He leads. Thanks for following His lead and sharing with us!
Such a good post, Deb, and I am so grateful you shared it. We can make prayer so complicated and our Father makes it so simple – Just come and talk to Me. Thank you for reminding me of this. Blessings!
Beautiful, Deb. An an incredible invitation for each of us. We can boldly go before the throne … knowing He will give us exactly what we need.
It invokes a little fear and trepidation to go through that curtain, Deb…except when we really know the heart of the Father, and then…grace. Those scriptures were a blessed reminder of His heart for us to come, of what He offers for us when we search.
Praying that all His daughters (and sons) are fervent in their approach to His throne of grace. (Heb 4:16) We all need a little well-timed help.
Always an encouragement to visit you!
Thank you for sharing this vision you had, Deb. This is such a vivid beautiful picture of God that you’ve described…and it helps me, too. I will remember this when I pray. I tend to pray with a “laundry list” far too often- but you’ve reminded me to approach God in more of a conversational tone.
Deb, I can relate to your post on several levels!
1. The Lord often uses middle-of-the-night wake times as spontaneous ways to speak deep truths to me. I have been privileged to receive a few visions as well. Always love those times when the veil is pulled back for a few minutes!
2. Ask, seek, knock is the verse going through my mind lately. It is a verse I’m applying to my writing career in 2017.
3. Exercise has taken a back shelf to my writing pursuits since October. So, along with you, I’m renewing my commitment in the new year.
Blessed to read your blog weekly!
What an amazing vision, Deb! You’ve encouraged me not to complicate my prayer life either. Just ask, seek, knock, and God will be right there. What a comfort and blessing that is!
Blessings to you!
This is such a powerful image! Recently I read The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer and he talks about how the viel was torn but we tend to put up our own veil in its place. God says come in, but we say no thanks and keep our distance. How heartbreaking this must be for Jesus. Thanks for sharing your approach to prayer!
Beautiful, inspiring, and thought provoking words Deb. Thank you so much! I pray many blessings for you in 2017.
Deb, I am a visual learner. You spoke clearly to me today. That torn curtain is hanging in threads to remind me of the invitation to enter. WOW! Thank you for painting such a vivid picture.
‘It didn’t matter if my mind wandered or if my needs seemed childish. My Father wanted to talk with me.’ I just love that, Deb! My mind wanders so much sometimes, and I struggle for the words, but how could I say no to such an amazing invitation from the God of the Universe. Thanks for such a beautiful reminder, and thanks for featuring my post today. I’m so blessed by your encouragement!
Loved this, Deb – well written, real and well – a blessing to my soul . God the Ultimate Host says come, and we sit on the curb, maybe the porch and sometimes in His lap. Reading Nouwen these days since Christmas – Life of the Beloved. Which we are. Blessings on your new vision that blesses you and now others and mostly, God Himself.
I can’t believe I still haven’t seen War Room. Must fix that in 2017. I’m reading Fervent right now. I’m so grateful that the Father invites us to come sit with him. That’s a gift that we can’t really fathom! Thanks for sharing your vision, Deb.
Deb- absolutely loved this post! The tips are so helpful! So many times I try to figure it all out by myself. This year 2017, my word is trust! I’m aiming at trusting God more and your tips will help me!
Amen! What a sweet word, Deb!
Don’t you love knowing that we can go into that throne room unimpeded?
Thank you for reminding of the sweet access that we have in Jesus!
Thanks so much for sharing my post, Deb! I hope that it will be a blessing to those who read it.
Thank you, also, for sharing your vision. I love how God does that, gives us a little picture to help us understand and remember better the lesson that He is trying to teach us! He is so wonderful, so amazing! Praise His name!
Love the split curtain! We have a room with a curtain as a door. Easy access to that room. You can never lock anyone out.
Why in the world we would turn down an opportunity to crawl up in the lap of our Father, the God of the universe? Like you’ve said so eloquently, Deb, He’s torn down the curtain that once separated us so that we can experience intimate times of communion. Great thoughts on prayer! And thanks for the linkup, my friend!