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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