When we come to know the Lord and by virtue of same, His Father and ours; we enter into the privilege of communication. Actually more than communication – we enter into a conversation. Not just any conversation, but one with Him Who holds the reins of all that is! We have the privilege for no other reason than that is part n’ parcel of the relationship into which we have been “born”.
The question becomes, “how do we use the privilege we’ve been given?” Do we use it to demand – command? Or do we use it to draw closer to Him Who has drawn close to us?
The subject matter of this post was prompted by a reading from “My Utmost for His Highest” yesterday on Facebook. Written at the beginning of the last century by Oswald Chambers; it is a classic among Christian devotionals. Chambers was an early twentieth-century Scottish Baptist and Holiness Movement evangelist and teacher, best known for the devotional My Utmost for His Highest. Interestingly, it was compiled by his widow after his death, never been out of print and has been translated into 39 languages (Wikipedia).
“Lust means “I must have it at once.” “Spiritual lust causes me to demand an answer from God, instead of seeking God Himself who gives the answer. Whenever we insist that God should give us an answer to prayer we are off track. The purpose of prayer is that we get ahold of God, not of the answer.”
As I began to grow in the Lord; comprehending His ways and grasping a spiritual understanding of everything from Who He is to the power of prayer – I became increasingly convinced that prayer was so much more than asking Him for ‘things’. Not just ‘things’ but specific outcomes – outcomes my humanity wanted. He began to transition me from the babbling infant-in-Him to adolescence then adulthood. As I mentioned last week, gradually the answer to my articulation of a list of ‘things’ I thought I needed/wanted were met with the word “shh” across my lips.
Silence was what He asked – not the ramblings of a woman who had been taught that prayer was anything but silence.
Chambers distinctly says that when we don’t get an answer to our prayer, we can become dejected and that is not of God. But after all, didn’t He say “ask anything in my Name” and you’ll have it? Then of course, he didn’t say prayer is a magic potion from which the answer immediately appears. As if prayer is asking for lollipops and chewing gum – rather than asking to be drawn into a closer relationship with the Author and Lord of my life!
As Chambers states, prayer is about coming into contact, communion and conversation with God Who then gives the answer. The answer in His timing – not ours!
When PAPA gave me a glimpse of this magnificent truth; prayer became a privilege – not a promise to hand me life on a silver platter. Imagine being asked to come closer – get to know Him and sit awhile, abiding in His presence. Let us ‘reason’ together. Let us have conversation. Let us have a meeting of the minds (His and mine). Let me share Who I Am with you so that our relationship becomes more intimate day by day! That my dear friends, is privilege. Of the highest order!
It is also how we enter into the prayerful relationship of which Paul speaks when he says – “pray without ceasing“. It would be very difficult to sit all day in our prayer closets communing when we are to be about our Father’s business while the day is still young. Learning that prayer is the privilege of abiding in order to draw close to the Father is something we can do from the closets of our hearts/minds anywhere and everywhere we are – morning – noon – and night!
Women, if you take nothing from today’s “Sunday Series”, take the concept that prayer is less about the answer and much more about the experience of being in His presence. For learning to be in His presence will yield answers to the questions He knows we want to ask without our having to ask.
But they will come in His time – not ours!
Linda S. Fitzgerald, Visionary Partner
Champion of Ordinarily Extraordinary Women of the World
A Women’s Place Network, Inc. dba
Affiliated Women International
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[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://fbcdn-profile-a.akamaihd.net/hprofile-ak-xap1/v/t1.0-1/p160x160/10933880_10152999878054264_1749306739390848122_n.jpg?oh=3b9b3e144f0b306aa0cc748b03d9dd6a&oe=55550352&__gda__=1432002183_d9a5e0b3a35fc3cfbbe66ed7bc7658c9[/author_image] [author_info]My passion is to see women become all they are designed to be – personally, professionally and most of all – spiritually. I write, teach, mentor and coach with that passion in mind. As an author and prolific blogger, I reach out to women in all walks of life, especially women of faith to empower and equip them for greatness. [/author_info] [/author]