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Monday, February 3, 2014

Talking to Daddy

I think prayer is the most exciting thing we will ever experience here on earth. 
This statement might be a ridiculous one for some people.  For them, prayer is as boring and UNexciting as life can get.  It's a duty.  It's a dry, monotonous experience.  They do it only because they are told they should, but their hearts are far off.  It's not that they don't want to be interested in prayer.  They do.  They just haven't discovered yet the treasures found inside it or how to get there.
Here are a few thoughts to help us get there.
1)  First and most importantly, there is only ONE way to the Father. 
That way is through His Son, Jesus.  If you try to take any other road, your prayer life will go nowhere because prayer is talking to the Dad that made you.  If you are praying to any other god, you aren't talking to your Heavenly Father.  Life is found only in believing in Jesus and putting your trust in Him.  It's equally important to note that we are only righteous before Him through the cross.  If you are experiencing condemnation when you come to God, say out loud, "I am the righteousness of God in Christ."  God wants us to know that we can be completely confident with Him -- no shame.
2) We must remember that God is a REAL PERSON and He is ALIVE. 
I know that sounds funny if you already believe that.  But, I can tell you that many times I talk to Him like somehow He's not.  I talk to Him like he either doesn't hear or hardly understands.  I talk to Him like He doesn't really see what's going on in my life.  I talk to Him like He's asleep and I have to make extra noise to get His attention.  God is not asleep.  God is not deaf.  God is not ignorant.  If anything, He is the one who is alert and we are the ones deaf, ignorant, and asleep.  Direct your heart toward Him and talk TO Him, not at Him.
3)  Be honest.
God is interested in a friendship with us.  He's in this for the long haul, so He's not going after a surface relationship.  He's looking for honest communication.  Though He already knows everything about us, He wants to hear honesty about things from our lips.  The good thing is we don't have to be afraid to express it.  He fully accepts us as we are when we come to Him.  He's the safest place in the world-- so be yourself with Him.
4)  Be willing to let go.
Sometimes, we have a hard time going deeper in prayer because we are stubbornly holding on to something that He is asking us to let go of.  Maybe unforgiveness.  Maybe an addiction.  He's not asking you to fix yourself.  He's asking you to open up your heart more to let Him in and explore those places in you and set you free from them.

5) Worship

Worship is essentially prayer expressed through music/song.  But what many people don't realize is just how powerful worship is!  It's not just another thing to add variety to your church service.  Worship, my friend, is like hitting the nitro button in a fast car.  Worship accelerates me into the Presence of God, helps me abide there, and lubricates my communication with Him.  Your prayer life will explode if you allow the powerful force of Worship to collide with the powerful force of Prayer.  "Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!  Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!....Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!  For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand."  (Psalm 95: 1-2; 6-7 ESV) 

6)  It's not a one way conversation

Remember, you're not the only one that wants to express thoughts in this relationship.  God has a lot to say.  Give Him the room to do so.  Take time to wait on Him quietly.   Become familiar with His Voice.  Get into His Word, the Bible, and let Him reveal His heart to you.  When you 'eat' with Him, you will not only learn who He is, you'll also find yourself refreshed and nourished. 

7)  Don't make this harder than it is.

Remember -- YOU are the reason Jesus came to earth.  He died because He WANTS to be close to us.  He's more interested in a relationship with us far more than we can even imagine. We can tend to make prayer harder than it is.  We over-think it.  We make it complicated.  But, in reality, it's as easy as talking to your best friend -- and that is what He wants to be to us.  
Here are a few more thoughts from Mike Bickle...


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