I am going to start this short series of blogs by looking at our relationship with the Presence of the Lord in our daily lives. Have you ever considered that God is seeking to escape out of our prayer lives? Having got your attention let me qualify this statement before you label me as a heretic. Sadly, many believers have locked their relationship with the Lord into ‘special’ appointed times with Him such as prayer, and have for the rest of the ninety-nine point nine percent of the time basically defaulted to living their lives as if He were not with them. (I know sadly that this was true of my walk with Him for a large percentage of my Christian life) But the truth is that He is always with us twenty four hours seven days a week, as He promised in Matt 28:20 “…….and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen . I believe that the Lord desires greatly to escape from being limited to these designated times in our daily schedules and to lay claim to the potential of the rest of our day! So God is not seeking a way out of our lives but a way into them!
As we have recently discovered, the heart of prayer is relationship. It therefore goes to say that the more exercised we are in that relationship with the Lord the stronger we will be in prayer! Note I did not say worthy, that belongs firmly and exclusively in the work of Jesus! But it is true to say that how we live out our walk with the Lord in the ninety nine percent of our day will have an influence upon the time we give to Him in prayer, and it is unfortunately a common mistake made by believers to separate these two walks.
One particularly effective way in which to ‘exercise ‘our relationship in the Lord is to take up the challenge of what is commonly known as practising the presence of God. This is basically seeking to develop a life lived in the light of a constant awareness of the Lords presence. (A subject I may well come back to in future blogs)
As we seek to develop an awareness of the Lord’s presence in our everyday life, we find that we will gain an increased sensitivity to Him. As we learn to function in this new found sensitivity we find that it will feed back into our prayer life, enabling us to tune into His presence more quickly, cutting through all the noise and distractions of the world about us and make connection with the Lord. And when in prayer, we become more able to sense His leadings and so more able to move in unison with Him. I also find that when I am aware of His presence that I naturally find myself conversing with the Lord in much the same ways as I would in times of prayer, me sharing my life’s moments, thoughts and emotions with Him and in turn discovering that the Lord desires to share His with me. Two very important things happen to our prayer lives as a result. Firstly, this is the point when prayer begins to escape the confines of designated times to begin to occupy the rest of our lives and so the transformation begins from us having a prayer life into living a life of prayer.
Secondly as the Lord reveals aspects of His person, His nature and His perspectives on things to us they inevitably leave an impressions upon us and we are changed by them , adding to the process known commonly as the ‘renewing of the mind’ such as seen in Rom 12:2 “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God”. As we increasingly open our lives to His presence , and mature in the inevitable adjustments to our understanding of Him and His perspectives on life which these encounters bring, we gain an increased capacity to prove (or know) the will of God. The will and the Person of Jesus are not divorced from each other but are one; to increase our relationship with the presence of the person of Jesus is to strengthen our relationship with His will. This knowledge can bring great changes to how and what we pray, particularly in times of great need when beforehand we would tend to pray from our own reactions (will, emotions and understandings) but now through an increasing sensitivity to His presence and His will we are more positioned pray more in tune with how the Lord would like us to pray.
Let us seek to exercise ourselves in our relationship with the Lord by being those who passionately pursue the presence of the Lord in our every moment, that in turn we would see prayer become stronger and more prevalent in our lives! Amen. By the grace of the Lord Jesus may it be so.