How do you start and end your day?
The first thing you do in the morning and the last thing you do in the evening speaks a lot about your priorities.
Do you appreciate another day God has given you once you wake up? Do you take the time to praise and thank Him for another chance to live and enjoy His gift of time?
When you say that you "love" God, this should mean you would intentionally create time for Him -- just like how you would create time for the people you care for.
We should take it to heart that the people we have in our lives, our possessions, our achievements, and everything else we hold dear are from God and by God alone.
When we seek God, spend time with Him, talk to Him, and try to listen to His voice, we establish a relationship with Him, our Heavenly Father. As in any relationship, communication plays a vital role.
Communicating with God is a genuine conversation with God. Praying does not necessarily mean having to be in a church or spending long hours cooped up in a room. Prayers need not be lengthy, formal, organized, or memorized. Just talking to God from your heart is already a form of prayer, a talk with our Father that will encourage and strengthen us to go through our day.
Let us not limit our prayers for the things we need or the things that are too difficult for us to handle. When we pray, we should spend time praising and worshiping God for just being with us and letting us know Him.
Talking to God is a privilege given to us. The best part is that we don’t need to set an appointment with His secretary, a wifi connection, a phone, or any gadget. He is just a prayer away which we can do anytime, anywhere!
Let us take heart and enjoy cultivating intentionally a relationship with our Heavenly Father. He was first intentional with us when He sent Jesus to save us out of His unconditional love for us. If we can even somewhat grasp the love of God through Jesus Christ, by talking to Him regularly, and from a place of desire more so than duty, our lives are changed for the better. Prayer then becomes part of our lifestyle that we can't live without.
Praying strengthens our dependence on God. And that is what He desires, for us to seek Him and trust Him.
Great things are in store for us through our reliance on Him. Jesus Himself as a minister prayed to the Father every time. He would go out from the crowds to spend "quality" time talking to the Father. While He can do extraordinary things, He didn't go on without relying on the Father and the Holy Spirit. Prayer is a key part of the ministry of Jesus in His time. Pastor Rick Warren said, "More is accomplished on bended knees”, and it's true, the extraordinary happens when we rely on God who does the extraordinary.
Let us not be "too busy to pray.” Instead, may we be too busy NOT to pray.
Consider the following toward a stronger relationship with the Lord:
1. More is accomplished when we call unto God. To think that we can do things solely on our own is pride.
Let’s learn to walk and talk with God. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
2. Let’s be real when we talk to God. If we fear we might say something wrong when we pray, here's some good news: We don't have to worry about that because He is always willing to listen no matter how messed up we think we are!
3. Schedule a time of prayer. We develop habits by being consistent. Set a time that you will dedicate for prayer.
4. Make it non-negotiable. You will not go through a day without eating nor even go out of the house without bathing. Consider prayer as a basic daily need.
5. Get back on your knees. When you fail to pray, just go back to God, don't be too hard on yourself, He is gracious, He would rather hear you again than not at all. (Psalm 145:8)
6. Pray without ceasing. You can pray at any point in the day. The Lord would surely want to hear your voice.
(I Thessalonians 5:17)
7. Join a group wherein you pray. It would always be worthwhile not just to spend time with God but also to spend time with God's people in prayer. You get to be edified as you hear answered prayers as well as you get to be prayed for by others. You can even return the favor as well. As it is also written, "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." (James 5:16)
Come to Union Church of Manila to worship and to learn more about the power of prayer. UCM, a Christian church in Makati, has a Prayer Ministry. Its trained team members are able and willing to pray for you and with you.
Visit www.unionchurch.ph to learn more.