Updated: Dec 10, 2019
The bible talks about the pearl of great price” or the parable of "the pearl Merchant". This is found in Matthew 13:45. After searching for fine pearls, he found one of great value, and sold everything he had to buy that field and own the “greatest pearl” ever! And he did!
This reminds me of my love of prayer centered life!
A life that “searches” for the things of God. His voice, His face, His thoughts, His beautiful glory! HIM! Focusing ALL I am to find ALL of Him! What a great price!
He will cost you everything and yet give you everything!
If you’re still reading, even after the previous sentence, “cost you everything” I invite you to consider a life of prayer.
What is a life of prayer? Many try to define it, but few find it. How does a life of prayer look? Is it holy? Is it complicated? It is God and it is not complicated. It is holy but not in the sense of “holy roller”. Simply put, prayer is communication (simply talking) to and with God.
You can experience God everywhere and doing anything! He longs for you and is the most intimate person in your life. (Thanks, Jack Pitzer, for that nugget!) His best day is your best day! Your suffering is His suffering. His joy is your joy. It truly is as simple as that…in my humble opinion, it’s the world and religion that has led us astray in the place of prayer.
You see, tradition tells us that one hour on Sunday is all we need to be close to God. One hour in a community setting, all singing together and listening to the preacher.
I LOVE CHURCH! Please don’t get me wrong or mishear what I am offering up for your consideration. Traditional church every week is a vital component to a life filled with God. It just is not the only time or opportunity we have with God. “My one and done” is not all God desires for our lives. He desires a moment to moment relationship with us.
Imagine if you saw your spouse, kids, or family members only one hour per week. Your ability to grow together would be very limited. Add to the scenario the fact that fewer are going to church weekly. According to a 2018 survey, 28 % of American’s never attend a church or synagogue, compared to 22% who attend every week. That leaves a big chunk of people not responding or attending a “church” service one-time year, week or month.
There are many “fears” or obstacles that keep us from praying daily, and having a disciplined prayer life. Maybe you are thinking right now, “I do not know how to pray or what to pray or when to pray!” And another can be “He never answers my prayer, I just sit there and stare and don’t feel anything.
My desire is to offer to you a most excellent way to Him. This will not be a complete prayer guide, but a taste of seeking a life of prayer. You will have to decide on your own how your prayer life looks going forward. My prayer is you start! My prayer is you add on to what you already are doing! There are real obstacles for us as we cultivate a life of prayer. Let’s tackle some of them today, one by one.
Fear one: I don’t know what to pray or how or when.
If you’re just beginning a disciplined prayer life, start small. Take small bites so to speak.
When I started a daily prayer life, I started with 5 minutes per day. Be intentional with those first minutes. Set yourself up for success. Ditch your phone, have a journal or paper for journaling, bible, water, coffee. Take time away from distractions. Separate yourself from your “main room of activity” in your house or business place or school. I started in my car on the way to work. I would safely pull over by a lake and sit and gaze upon Him. Give Him all my anxieties (which were many!) and simply surrender for five minutes. Then I would continue on with my day. That practice started 16 years ago. Some days are longer now in the place of prayer. Somedays I pray all day, thru out my day. Some days it is 30 seconds of prayer. But I keep coming back to the place of encounter with Him. I do not let my defeat or wrong choices derail me completely. I repent before my King, push delete (thank you Mike Bickle for that reality) and move on.
Lately my prayer life has grown! Earlier this month we took a much-needed trip to the International House of Prayer KC. For me, going to IHOPKC is a return to the “mothership”. I feel like E.T. or Richard Dreyfuss in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. I am at peace with sitting in the prayer room in KC and soaking up the Presence of Him. Totally focused on Him and His purposes for my life. Surrounded by people who long for His presence and worshipping Him in Spirit and truth. I highly recommend a trip to IHOPKC! I have been given grace by God to long for more of Him. When we were at KC, we stayed with a couple who opens their home to people who travel to IHOPKC. ON our first day, we dropped our suitcases at the house and headed to the prayer room. As we entered the front foyer to leave, we were met by the woman of the house. She began prophesying over each of us. At first, we had no idea what was happening because she was speaking so slowly and succinctly that it sounded like casual observations. After a couple of minutes, I caught on. This is God speaking to us through Djanira. Since theses prophecies I have been changed forever!
You know why? Because I am coming to realize He longs for me! He longs to spend time with me. He goes to great links to talk to me, tell me how much He loves and values me. He picks random people to “speak over my life” the great mysteries and destiny of my life. AND IF HE DOES THIS FOR ME, HE DOES THIS FOR YOU! He longs for us and our love and time and presence with Him. Thus, I am finally convinced.
God desires a beautiful loving relationship with us! Listen to Mike Bickle’s series : Cultivating a First Commandment Lifestyle (2019) Mike Bickle.org.
Finally, I have received this reality and am asking Him for more grace to go deeper in this revelation. The Father enjoys me, wants, no waits for me , to talk every day, and thus we have a two-way relationship! From this relationship I can cultivate a life of prayer. Forever loving Him! So now I can come to my Father with arms wide open and sit with Him for longer times. My need for success has gone away. I am already successful because I love Him first! (Thank you Mike Bickle). Please take time to discover that reality!
Fear Two: I don’t know what to pray.
Start by praying for others. Simply right down names and prayer concerns and take them to Him. Your spouse, family, co-workers, co -students, are good people to start with –even your enemies. Lay all worries and anxieties at His feet. Read a Psalm out loud and dedicate it to someone you are praying for. The bible tells us that Jesus intercedes for us night and day (Hebrews 7:25) and the Holy Spirit groans our prayers for us when we have no words (Romans 8:26). So just be present for a moment and God, Jesus and Holy Spirit will lead you! At the end of this blog there will be websites and resources listed to help you as well.
Fear three: Praying makes me weak.
This is completely false and just the opposite is true! Prayer makes us strong. Prayer gives us courage and might to survive our days filled with many obstacles, distractions and adversaries. We are strengthened in the place of prayer because HE is with us. He is standing before us and He is our strong tower that we run into!
Our pride will keep us from believing how much we need God. I know this because I struggle with this fact daily. I have to push myself past the point of my flesh saying” no time, no need, not now” to sit and pray. Once I do, my day and life become revelations of Him. Reflections of His love and I can love myself and my neighbor as myself.
During a sermon recently at Sunday church, our pastor spoke these words: God has called us to be peculiar people. We are supposed to be different. Are we conforming to a world of busyness and distractions? (Thank you Jeff Watts)
Renowned author Henri Nouwen writes in his book, Here and Now about God and prayer:
“God is present here and now! God is a God of the present. God is always in the moment whether it be hard, or easy; joyful or painful; He is here and now.”
Prayer provides that “space” to touch Him, gaze at Him, invite Him and accept His invitations to listen and be –God is always present with us because of His great love for us!
Take a moment today and say Hi to Him! Begin your search for that pearl of great price!
Prayer Resources- Just a few of my favorite