"Moreover, as for me, far it be from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you..." - 1 Samuel 12:23
IF YOU want to grow deep or deeper in your prayer life, take time to study the lives of those who really pray! Look to them as prayer mentors. See their ways and feel their hearts... catch their flame.
Personally, I want to learn prayer from Samuel, a man who really prayed. As a realist, I mean, learning to pray from the basics. Learning and longing to be at the throne of grace does not really mean being at it for five straight hours, how about five minutes. From here, let us develop or ask God to spark the fire of prayer, and then gradually let its blaze consume us.
It is noteworthy to see that Samuel held three offices - that of Prophet, Priest and a Judge. This meant that he was a very busy man. His multi-tasking life was not without consequences. I would like to think that his failure to deal with his corrupt sons can be traced to this root. Samuel's prayer life must have been the result of the powerful influence of his prayerful mom, Hannah. At the same time, his neglect to discipline his sons was, unmistakably, Eli's virus. Learn the lesson of not underestimating the power of influence!
Samuel's imperfections made him a qualified caller at the throne of grace, in fact, a frequent caller. His prayer life was not man-made but a response to God's stirring. Prayer is the result of a spiritual and personal conviction from God. Read my lips, prayer is not forced, it is a flow from God's Spirit into ours. Anything forced cannot produce faith. To attempt to nag people to pray, to twist arms and employ unceasing guilt trips will never fan the flame of Prayer!
There is a need to be stirred by God to pray, like a personal invitation to His Presence. Then, we can respond with either Yes God, I am into it, or, see me next time. That is why Samuel's words was "As for me..." it is a personal journey. One can only wish that God will use his journey to invite many others.
Today, I believe that as you read this article and since you have reached this far, God is stirring your heart to pray. I suggest you take advantage of this spiritual stirring and really take time to pray, like a three to five minute chat with God? I think this is doable. Take freshly brewed coffee with you and converse with God daily.
I have a feeling that this chat is going to lead you into a journey of grace! Will you? I did, and believe me, it is worth it and it works. I can only re-echo the words of the hymn writer, Joseph Shriven "Oh what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer". Well, if you want to catch the flame... take time to pray now. Begin with, "Lord Jesus, be merciful to me, a sinner." You will be surprised where this road will take you.
Thanks for reading. I always write and pray straight from my heart.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on July 13, 2017.
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