O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer. -- Joseph Scriven
the topic of prayer is one that has been on my heart lately and it just so happens that Matt also preached on it today at church. i love when the Lord is leading you in a direction and it just continually comes up so that you are forced to think/meditate on it...especially when in your flesh you'd rather just push it aside. anyway, since May i have been reading Desiring God by John Piper. i just felt that it was about time i tried to tackle that big ol' book and i finished it today. woot woot! even though there are several appendices so i don't really feel finished....this book has challenged me big time in a lot of different ways, but especially in the area of prayer. i think a lot of the time i do not take prayer as seriously because i'm aware of how deeply i need Him. or things get so busy at work, i don't take a minute to breathe and consider God and what He is saying or trying to teach me. i know i am missing out on a deeper joy and satisfaction in Christ....
at the end of the chapter on prayer, john piper ends by exhorting the reader to make a plan to pray. he uses the comparison that we do not just get up one day and take a vacation, but we plan it way in advance and then make it happen. this idea has stuck with me and it is so true. i am a sucker for practicals, too....so i always needs a good practical application to help me out. so i need to be more serious about making prayer a priority and making a plan of action!
and then from the sermon today--two of the things that stuck out to me from Matt's sermon is 1.) we don't pray like we are at war...and as much as we can deny that statement, we are at war, we just don't view life through that lens, ** insert conviction here!** and then 2.) God asks us to give him no rest when it comes to praying and seeking him. This is from Isaiah 62 (which is one of my fave chapters in Isaiah, btw)...verse 6 says
"on your walls, o jerusalem, i have set watchmen; all the day and all the night they shall never be silent. you who put the Lord in remembrance; take no rest and GIVE HIM NO REST until he establishes Jerusalem and makes it a praise in the earth."
God wants us to be petitioning him day and night...he does not ask that we leave him alone so he can take a nap or watch the football game. i love this....
sooo all this to say, i hope you are encouraged to spend time to pray today...and to make it more of your spiritual disciplines consistently. i also pray that you don't feel shame or guilt because of your lack of prayer. i know i was feeling this way and I feel like that guilt and shame is one way the enemy could prevent me/you from engaging God in prayer. welp, there's my little tid bit...thanks for reading! have a good week! :)