Tag Archives: praying

Seeking God’s Face

One of the things I enjoy doing is going to sports shows to get autographs. There are tables set up all over the place with autographs from just about any athlete on just about anything. It’s cool to look at those and remember those players, but I rarely buy anything on that side of the building. On the other side is a series of tables with athletes sitting at them signing autographs. You have to get tickets months in advance if you’re going to meet the person and get their autograph. For me, that’s the way to go. I love being able to say, “I met Clyde Drexler,” or “I met Craig Biggio and got him to sign this right after he got into the Hall of Fame.” I want to be present and meet the people who’s autographs I have.

The same thing goes when it comes to God’s presence. I love hearing stories of revivals in the past and the miraculous things that happened. I love conversing with people about what God showed them in prayer, but to me, it’s like window shopping at the sports show. I don’t just want to hear about someone else’s experience, i want to meet with God and be in His presence too. There’s a fear many people have of being in God’s presence I think. It’s like the Israelites when they left Egypt. God invited them into His presence, but they sent Moses instead. You and I can’t live or fully grow off of someone else’s experiences. We must learn to get into God’s presence ourselves.

Psalm 27:8 says, “When You said, ‘Seek My face [in prayer, require My presence as your greatest need],’ my heart said to You, ‘Your face, O LORD, I will seek [on the authority of Your word]’” (AMP). God is asking us to seek His presence individually. There’s a cost associated with that. It’s going to cost you time that you could be doing something else. God wants to be first in our lives and to be our greatest need. Until each of us are willing to make Him our greatest need and are willing to pay the price, we’ll be window shopping off of other people’s experiences. Find time today to seek God. Put on some worship music, read your Bible, pray and listen. He’ll meet you there because if you seek, you will find.

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New Years Prayer 2019

Lord,

I thank you for this new year and all the blessings you will bring into my life during it. Give me the wisdom to make the best decisions for my life this year so that I follow your plan for my life. I know that this year will have moments where I can’t see your hand at work where I don’t understand what you’re doing in my life. Help my unbelief in those moments and strengthen my resolve to trust in you no matter what. I know that you see the bigger picture for my life and that you have a plan that is for my good.

As Hebrews 12:14 says, help me to be swift to choose peace over competition in every relationship. I also want to run towards holiness in my life. I want to reflect your Son in the things I say and do this year. Let your light shine brightly through me so that I point others to you instead of to me. Help me to achieve the potential you see in me and to fulfill all that you have for me to do in this coming year. I know there are greater things in store for my life. Give me the courage to follow where you lead me.

As Hebrews 12:15 says, help me to make sure that no one I come into contact with misses the revelation of your grace. Protect me from any root of bitterness that may try to spring up in my life. I want to live in your peace and have your compassion flowing through my life. Whatever you are dreaming of doing this year, I want to be a part of making that happen. I submit my will, and the plans I have, to yours. Let 2019 be the year where I do more for you than I ever have. Put people in my life to help me accomplish all you have for me to do, and people that I can strengthen and help as well. Open my eyes to see others the way you do and help me to love them with your love.

I ask all these things in Jesus’ name.

Amen

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Being Quiet

I’ve noticed that when people are nervous, there are those who get real quiet and those who ramble on. I find myself in the later group a lot of times. For me, talking helps me to figure out what I’m thinking and how I’m feeling. It helps me to sort out the problem, but it also keeps me from listening to good advice and can make others around me more nervous. I was once told, “You have two ears and one mouth. You need to listen twice as much as you speak.” That’s something I have to remind myself of quite often.

When it comes to prayer, I can find myself in the same boat. From the time we are young, we learn that prayer is talking to God. What we’re not taught is that it’s listening to God as well. I think God talks as much or more than we do, but we can’t hear Him over our own talking. Being quiet in the presence of the Lord requires discipline. You have to learn to shut down your mouth and your mind. The silence can be deafening at times, but it’s in those moments where we hear God the loudest.

Psalm 37:7 says, “Quiet your heart in his presence and pray; keep hope alive as you long for God to come through for you” (TPT). Many times there is a nervousness that God may not answer our greatest need. If you’re a talker, quiet your mouth. If you’re the quiet type, silence your mind. God doesn’t answer our prayers on our timetable. If we’re listening to what He says, and trust that what He does is always right and for our good, we can have hope in any situation. God is good all the time, and He sees beyond our most pressing need at the moment. Get quiet and still in His presence today, listen for His voice and give Him freedom to answer His way instead of yours.

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Protecting Our Relationship With God

I get the opportunity to talk to different people all the time. Inevitably someone wants to ask me relationship questions. I’m not a trained counselor or anything like that, but as I listen to these stories, there’s a constant thread through all of them. The problems they’re experiencing are a result of a lot of little things that have crept in and gone unchecked. Also, they haven’t done things to protect the relationship. When that happens, the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back ends up happening and it gets the blame. The truth is it was several small, basic things that added up.

Just like any relationship, we have to make sure that we do the small, basic things in our relationship with Christ. We need to set parameters and protect it. We live in a connected world where everything seems to be vying for your attention. If we allow little things to distract us and keep us from praying or reading our Bible or going to church, it will become difficult to have that relationship that God wants to have with us. We must protect that time. We must make it sacred so that nothing and no one comes between us and God.

I’m reading the Bible book Song of Songs (Solomon) in the Passion translation. They’ve taken it and put in red letters the parts that are allegorically from God. Chapter 2:15 says this to us from God, “You must catch the troubling foxes, those sly little foxes that hinder our relationship. For they raid our budding vineyard of love to ruin what I’ve planted within you. Will you catch them and remove them for me? We will do it together” (TPT). God is asking us to protect our relationship with Him. I also love that just like any other relationship, it’s not just one side’s responsibility. We need to work together with God to remove the obstacles in our relationship so it can grow.

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Do It Again

There’s a story of a group of college students who went to visit the home of John Wesley, founder of the Methodist church. They noticed there were indentions on the floor of his room where he knelt to pray each day. After the tour, the class loaded on their bus. When the teacher counted, there was one missing. He went back through the property looking for the student and found him kneeling in those imprints praying, “Do it again, Lord. Do it again!” The teacher quietly walked up, tapped Billy Graham on the shoulder and let him know they had to leave.

I love that story because Billy understood that if God did it in the past for someone else, He could do it again for him. King David understood that same thing. In Psalm 126, David remembered how God had delivered the Israelites in the past. Then in verses 4-6 he prayed, “And now, GOD, do it again— bring rains to our drought-stricken lives So those who planted their crops in despair will shout hurrahs at the harvest, So those who went off with heavy hearts will come home laughing, with armloads of blessing” (MSG).

What has God done for someone else that you need Him to do for you? God is the same yesterday, today and forever. What He’s done for others, He will do again for you. You need to find your place where there are indentions on the floor, get in them and pray that God will do it again for you. I believe that what we sow in tears through prayer, we will reap as a harvest of blessing. If God hasn’t answered your prayers yet, keep planting those seeds of prayer. He will do it again in time.

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Stop And Look

Have you ever been sitting at a red light, or in traffic, and looked over and thought, “When did they build that?” It happens to me all the time. I take the same route to work each day, but sometimes the traffic patterns change. I’ll look over and see a building or something else and wonder how I missed it before. I’d driven by it a 100 times before, but somehow I’d never seen it. Was I too tired every other time? No. The difference is that this time I stopped and then looked around.

It makes me wonder how much of who God is, and what He says, that we miss because our prayers just us talking. I wonder how much He’s trying to show us, but our lives are too busy. He created us to be industrious. That’s a great trait that He put in us, but He also knew that it would mean we need to be reminded to stop and breathe every once in a while or we’d miss Him. We have a tendency to make everything so much about us, that we lose sight of our creator.

In Psalm 46:10 God said, “Be still, and know that I am God!” (NLT) When we learn to be still in His presence, in prayer and in life, we begin to notice things about Him that we’ve never seen. Society has taught us that growth and advancement come from being busy, but God teaches us that they come from being still. Today, make time to stop and be still so you can see things you’ve never seen. God is waiting and wanting to reveal Himself to you. Are you willing to slow down and notice?

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Quality Time With God

After my wife and were engaged, my dad bought each of us “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. In the book, we read how people give love and receive love. Each of us typically want to be loved in one to two ways. The book goes through the five love languages (physical touch, words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts and quality time), and it also gives you an assessment to help you know what your love language is so that you and your spouse can keep your love tanks full.

We know from Genesis that we are made in God’s image. I think what that means is that we have a lot of God’s qualities in us. We know that He shows us love, therefore He wants to be shown love. We know that John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave…” he’s also given us the Gifts of the Spirit. I believe one of God’s major love languages is gifts. Abel showed God love by bringing Him the gift of his best lambs and it made God happy.

I also believe God’s other dominant love language is quality time. He loves to spend time with each of us. That’s why prayer is so important. I love Psalm 27. It’s loaded with good stuff. In verse 8 it says, “My heart has heard you say, ‘Come and talk with me.’ And my heart responds, ‘Lord, I am coming’” (NLT). I hear God saying, “Come spend some quality time with me,” to each of us. Do we respond like David?

It’s important to note that we often show love in the way we want to receive it. To keep a relationship healthy, we have to learn to show it in the language of the person we are in a relationship with. Quality time and gifts may not come naturally to you, so you’ll have to work at it. Take some time today to spend some quality time with God. I know you’re reading this as a part of that, but take some time to just sit in His presence so you can hear what He has to say. You’ll be surprised by how your relationship with God changes.

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