I am, once again, coming face-to-face with something from my early years with which I need to deal in order to move ahead as the Spirit would have me move in the area of prayer.
As I wrote in a previous post about true confidence in prayer, God has placed me on the path of discovering how I can truly have confidence in praying.
The problem many people have is that they use prayer as a means to find God’s will. Therefore, they throw up all manners of prayer trying to cover every possibility, hoping that one of them would resonate with God and be His will. That is not the purpose of prayer, though.
Before we pray, it is important to have discerned what God wants to do. Prayer is not about finding out God’s will; it’s about asking Him to do what He already wants to do.
So, the initial stage of prayer, the foundation, is worship. This all-important foundation gets sold short and only given token attention. Worship puts the focus on God which then prepares us to be still before God in order to listen.
This is where I am, once again, coming into direct conflict with teaching from my youth. Being still doesn’t only mean physical; it also means mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
Inside each of us is that voice that is like that special feature on a DVD which has commentary running about the movie as the movie is playing. That inside voice is an internal commentary on our lives as we live it. It is that voice that must be stilled in order to hear God. And that can be difficult.
In order to shut off that voice, we must put everything else out of our mind. It is in this state of meditation that we open ourselves to hear from God, whether He speaks to us directly or uses something already given to us (i.e., a passage of Scripture) and uses that to speak in us.
If that voice is still talking, the ability to hear God is greatly hindered and degraded. Stilling that voice takes discipline, a discipline with which I still struggle. And I must admit, not something that I have ever viewed as critical. I have only focused on the physical aspect of stillness, which is only a very small part of being still before God.
Our world, our culture does not encourage stillness. It does not encourage stillness physically, but more so, it does not encourage stillness spiritually, mentally and emotionally. Even when we are still physically, there are many things still stirring in us and talking to us.
When preparing to pray, we must be come to a position of absolute stillness in order to hear what the Holy Spirit and Jesus are already praying regarding whatever it is that rests upon our hearts. Failure to do this (which praying too quickly about something represents) will only result in praying in our own strength, in our own voice, which does not lead to confidence and boldness in prayer because our prayer will fall on deaf ears.
When we do not still that inner voice, it is that voice that we convert into “prayers” because we rush too quickly into intercession. We pray in our own strength and come to God’s door under the panic and weight of the circumstances facing us. And the result is that prayer which should be effective becomes quite ineffective.
Do you want what I want? What I want is that everything I pray is what comes to fruition. What I want is that, in God’s perfect timing, everything I pray to come to pass happens. I want people to see the boldness and confidence in prayer approached properly.
There is a saying: “The proof is in the pudding.” The man whose teaching on many different aspects of walking in the Spirit has been influential in the last 3 years or so of my life has this approach to prayer. The number of miracles he has seen occur just as he prayed them is numerous. There is the proof.
He has ultimate confidence and boldness in prayer. That’s what I want. I hope you do as well. Therefore, I am diving deep into what it means to be absolutely still before God so I can truly listen.