As a child I thought that prayer was just saying things to God, just having a conversation with God. I never thought about how I was trying to talk to the being who created everything. The stars, the sun, the moon and even the annoying little slugs that send shivers down my spine when I accidentally step on them in bare feet sometimes!
But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit,
As I grew up I realised that prayer was the single most important thing I can do. I had a conversation with someone who thought that prayer was useless and that actually doing stuff to help people was more important. Doing things is important but I have come to realise that without prayer, without spending those precious moments getting yourself right with your maker, then nothing will work – I will struggle through each day trying to wade against a strong tide of a river, but if God wants us to go with “thy will be done” and he is the living river, then it figures that we must go with the river and stop resisting His urgings. He is not a dictator, but He does know best and we must trust Him and His timings.
Prayer for me seems more than just saying mere words, it is about turning my life into an exclamation of prayer. The fruits of the prayer will be visible, whether this is over a short term or a longer term – if everything is done for God’s greater glory then we have nothing to fear because God’s living river will guide us through life. I am not saying that there will not be problems and challenges to overcome, after all there are rapids and rocks within the river and we must overcome these to progress. Have you ever played Poo sticks and your stick gets stuck on the side or seems to brawn into the bit of the river that there is no current? That is when temptations and sin draw us away from the centre of the river and sometimes there has to be a shock to get us moving again. Prayer is the push that will give us that momentum, and action will also help us along the way – centred on Christ again.
Last year I started this blog and my prayer life was more centred on experiencing God’s presence in nature and trying to explain that to others. When I went with God’s ideas the pictures and reflections about God just flowed. When I struggled against this current it seemed like I was writing dry words. Trying to pray in the Spirit, asking the Spirit to fill me with His wisdom seemed to steer my day through to a more God centred conclusion.
But I believe God wants more for us than merely getting through the day. When we pray we are filled with the Holy Spirit and we have to be prepared to have courage to step outside our comfort zone to do God’s work – even if it sounds absurd. Many times I have heard an urging to do God’s will but I have also felt a fear holding us back. We must keep faith that God does know best and have a hope and joy in Christ so that we can act for God when and where He calls, no matter what the consequences.
The more we give, the more will be expected of us, but the rewards are awesome – eternal life. Don’t fight against God but go with Him, go with His will. Thinking back to that day that I was standing at Yordas cave when the dry river bed suddenly erupted and covered me knocking me into the cave. Back then I realise that was a physical experience of the river, later in my life I would experience the spiritual living river fill my soul. Use the Holy Spirit to guide us in joyful hope out of the sides to the centred life following Christ.
help me to devote the time to praying in the Spirit,
Help me to have the courage to step forward in Faith,
following your dear Son and the way of the cross,