Sunday, August 26, 2012

Prayer: What's the Big Deal Anyway?

Good Evening, sweet friends.  It has been a few days since I have written anything, and as always, I have missed writing and missed you.  That might sound like a cliche', but I truly feel a kinship with the readers.

I can look and see how many people have read a particular blog, and I always wonder who they are and actually ask the Lord to speak to each reader's heart, to meet them where they are, and to use what He is doing in my life to be a blessing.  Why else do I write?

I have been thinking about prayer the past few days.  Why is it necessary?  Since God is omniscient, He already knows what's in my heart, what my needs are, what I am thankful for, and why I am burdened.  So, why be redundant and "spell it out" in prayer?  What is the big deal about it?  As I read about prayer in His Word, I find that He not only wants me to "spell it out," but He wants me to do it without stopping.  Amazing!  Right? I Thess. 5:17

That doesn't mean to stay on my knees all of the time (I'm glad because these days my knees couldn't take it), or keep my hands lifted in the air, (I'm not a hand raiser.) or pray out loud (Sally, are you reading this?).  The Lord wouldn't ask us to do anything that would be done for show or would be disruptive to our daily lives.

I have heard it said that prayer is actually our spiritual breath. It gives life to our spiritual walk because it ushers us into the very presence of God, (unless it is vain prayer, and that is a completely different subject.)  So, if we are not faithful and constant in communing with the Lord and drawing on His strength through knowing His Word and spending time through prayer (I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me, Phil 4:13), then we are not exercising our spiritual lungs.

If we are not operating with spiritual breath, we are operating in the flesh, a substitute for the real thing. That only lasts so long before its real nature quickly manifests itself, and we grow so increasingly weak spiritually that we are completely unable to even respond in the slightest circumstances in a way that brings glory to the Lord.

We go from eating the meat of the Word back to being babies in Christ, lose our spiritual teeth so to speak, and become anemic. It is amazing how quickly we can be come snaggle-toothed in our Christian walk.  That is so unnecessary and not a pleasing sight, especially to those we are wanting to attract to the Lord Jesus in us.

The flesh is an ugly thing.  It is a stench in the nostrils of the Lord Jesus.  He calls it "filthy rags." Isaiah 64:6 "All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts (words) are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away."

That is exactly what happens to the flesh when the lungs don't have enough oxygen.  So, the picture is clearer of what happens to us spiritually when we don't exercise our spiritual lungs through open, honest communication with the heart of God. "We all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away."  

OK, now I think I might be telling too much on myself.  

I shudder to think about what kind of representative I am of Christ when I so boldly claim to belong to Him but don't spend enough time with Him to be dead to the flesh and alive in Him.  It reminds me of what Mahatma Ghandi said,

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

Oh, Lord Jesus, please forgive me for my neglect of prayer and for being a stench in your nostrils when I accomplish things in my own flesh and try to lay them at your feet as if they were a 'sweet smelling fragrance.'  Thank  you for covering me in your blood so that to God, I am always the aroma of Christ"  II Cor. 2: 14, and part of 15. 

The beauty of prayer is that the older we get, if we are exercising our spiritual lungs, the stronger they become, the more clarity we have in who we are in Christ, the higher we can climb spiritually, the more we operate in Him "Who is able to keep us from falling..." (Jude 1:24), and the greater our influence for His honor and glory.

And all God's people said, "Amen and Amen."