Recent revelation: I do not loathe doing dishes as much when I listen to a teaching while I’m doing them. Yesterday’s dirty-dish free countertops brought to you by the second session of the prayer conference I mentioned before.
The speaker is Francis Chan. Believe it or not, I’ve never read Crazy Love. I know. He spoke about “prayer as a way of walking in love.” I didn’t get what he meant by that until the very end. It is, simply, just abiding in Him and His love. Then, the need and desire to pray will always be there, and when you pray, it’s almost like the Lord is there saying, “Of course I’m right here listening to you. What do you want? What do you need?”
If you, like me, are in need of some remedial steps, consider these.
Our God listens. That’s what differentiates our God from every other false one. Our God doesn’t just listen, He asks us to talk with Him. Remember the story of Elijah? In 1 Kings 18, Elijah sets up a challenge to the “priests” of Baal. He challenges them to call down fire on their altar. They try and nothing happens. Then Elijah calls on our God. The God who listens. And fire consumes the altar.
Do you believe? Do you really believe all the stories in the Old and New Testament. Do you really believe Joshua led God’s people around the walls of Jericho and they crumbled? Do you really believe the Lord touched a leper and he was healed? Your God can do anything. In the first chapter of James, James writes about asking God for wisdom and says “you doubt, that’s why you don’t receive.” James 5:17 says Elijah was a man with a nature like ours. Elijah called down fire from heaven, but Elijah has nothing on you.
What’s your one thing? If you were a Christian in the late ’80s or ’90s, you know Psalm 27:4 because there’s a dopey (sorry) song that uses it for lyrics. One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in His temple. What’s the One Thing you keep asking of the Lord? It’s probably not this verse. This verse was written in the context of danger and hanging out in the house of the Lord is STILL David’s “one thing.” If I were in danger, my One Thing would be more along the “smite my enemies, make them eat dirt with their crippled hands” lines of David’s other Psalms. Even now, when we’re desperately praying for healing (that’s my One Thing), this should be what I pray for more. Why? Because what enemy in his right mind would try to attack me while I’m in the house of the Lord?
Abiding. John 15:7 says, If you abide in me and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. It’s not about praying the hardest, it’s about abiding in Jesus. Prayer isn’t just asking him to do this or bless that, it’s a relationship. Lord, abide in me, show me how to abide in You.” Let’s not be so focused on the work of God that we forget about the Person of God.
photo: beautiful art by Mara Caffarone