A Beginner’s Guide to Prayer
Prayer can be challenging and confusing, but a good starting point is to make it a priority. According to scripture, it is best to do it first thing in the morning. This is evident in the Bible, where priests are advised to bring wood to the altar first thing in the morning (Exodus 27:21). Here are a few practical tips to building a solid prayer life.
1. Close the Door of Distraction
When you come to prayer, eliminate distractions. According to 2 Kings 4:4, Elisha tells a woman to go into her house, close the door, and begin pouring oil, symbolizing the flow of the Holy Spirit. In today’s world, distractions are easy. To build intimacy in prayer, leave your devices in another room.
2. Know that God Loves Your Presence
Another important thing to remember is that God loves your presence more than you love His. Psalm 149:4 reveals that the Lord finds pleasure in His people. In fact, Zephaniah 3:17 also expresses that the Lord rejoices over you with singing. God’s love for us is not based on toleration but on deep affection, as highlighted in John 3:16.
Our presence brings God pleasure, and even when we don’t feel anything, it’s essential to remember that God enjoys our company.
3. Just Be With God
Next, learn to be with God, not just “seek” Him. In Exodus 24:12, God asks Moses to come up to the mountain and be there. This step encourages us to just ‘be’ in the presence of God, not necessarily doing anything but simply resting and finding our strength in quietness (Isaiah 30:15).
4. Don’t Be Overcome with Guilt When You Falter
At times, you may miss a day of prayer or falter in your commitment. Train your mind not to feel guilty for missing a day or two because God desires a relationship with you, not for you to be bound to religious rules. That means that if you didn’t spend time in prayer like you may have wanted to, you shouldn’t be overcome by guilt saying, “I’m sorry,” instead, you should come back to prayer saying, “God, I’ve missed you.”
That’s what would happen in a true relationship. For instance, if I traveled somewhere for three days to do a conference and couldn’t see my wife during that time, I wouldn’t come back home saying, “Babe, I’m so sorry I just feel so bad!” No, instead, we’d embraced each other and simply say how much we’ve missed being around each other.
Understanding this will change your dynamic and your appetite for prayer.
5. God Loves You Despite Your Sins
Lastly, never let sin prevent you from prayer. First of all, God already saw what you did in full 4k; secondly, understand that if you commit sin, God does not cancel his appointment with you.
When Adam sinned, God didn’t cancel His appointment with him. Instead, He sought Adam, asking him why he didn’t show up (Genesis 3:9). God knew what Adam had done, yet instead of asking, “How could you have done that?” God asks Adam, “Where are you?”
In Isaiah 1:18, God invites us to reason together about our sins, offering cleansing and forgiveness.
Remember, God loves you in your humanity, even when we err. It’s essential to show up, confess our sins, and trust in His forgiveness and cleansing. In your prayer life, remember God’s love for you, and make space for the pleasure of His presence.
In conclusion, prayer is about developing an intimate relationship with God. It’s not just a religious practice, but a deep connection with our Creator who loves and longs for our presence. As you embark on your prayer journey, embrace these practical steps, knowing that in doing so, you give God the pleasure of your presence and enjoy a deeper relationship with Him.
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