In many ways, prayer is the medium in which we can communicate with God and better understand His will. The simple act of praying is so profoundly powerful that we can’t truly understand the depths of it’s capabilities. Being able to silence the distractions of this world, set down the burdens of our soul and mind before the Cross, and open the door of our heart to the whispers of the Holy Spirit, is something that can only take place when we seek God in a place of prayer. To seek, however; is not just to attempt prayer once and, if we are not instantly gratified or if our prayer has not been answered, give up and move on to something else that will temporarily satisfy our needs.
To seek is to pray, and then pray again, and again, and again, and again, until it becomes a habit to seek the quietness of God’s presence; until it’s no longer a chore to commune with the One who loves us more than anything. Of course, this habit cannot sustain itself without the love of God within us. This love is realized once we address the innate and unchangeable fact of our iniquity, our sinful nature. But then looking away from what should be—our punishment under the law of God due to our sin—and towards what is offered right in front of us: the fact that God gave His only son to die for us, that whoever would believe in Him would not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). God demonstrated His infinite love by humbling Himself—the sovereign and almighty creator of all things—and becoming one of us, taking upon Himself all of our sin—and as if that weren’t enough—He then replaces what was once broken and sinful with His own nature; His own Spirit. A Spirit that is defined by joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, and above all, love (Gal. 5:22-23).
As our own nature begins to die, Jesus Christ is raised up within us and begins to live in our hearts. Our thoughts change, our priorities change, the world around us begins to change. Addictions are broken, marriages are saved, miracles are witnessed, relationships are restored, breakthroughs are made, mountains are moved, raging waters are calmed, chains are broken, lives are set free. When we commune with God, although we may think we are the ones speaking to Him, it is really God speaking into us and our lives when we choose to seek Him. Spending time with the Lord is never time wasted, and committing one’s self to better knowing the Great I Am is the ultimate act of living one can attain. When we seek God, it is no surprise that life begins to flow freely in our own lives, that things begin to change for the better when He is around. After all, God is the author of perfection, the essence of everything that is good, pure, and wholesome; when we seek the Lord, it is no surprise our lives benefit. It is God’s love that changes everything, and we can invite Him into our lives when we pray. Cast all your care upon Jesus Christ, because He cares for you; all of your anxiety, worry, shame, guilt, emotions, confusion… and in replace you will have life, and life more abundantly (1 Peter 5:7; John 10:10).
This grace that is offered freely to us through Jesus Christ is something that we have done nothing to deserve. We as mortal humans amidst a world that is naturally sinful, constantly feed our own pride and work for our own will and strive to answer our own prayers. We sell ourselves to bring to fruition the plans that we make, instead of setting our will down and seeking the Father’s. And what is the will of God? To love Him with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind; and to love your neighbor as yourself (Luke 10:27).
Can we do these things without God? Without Jesus Christ? I can love my family, yes. Friends; yes probably. But our enemies? Can we forgive others, or ask for forgiveness? Can we fight off our own depression? Anxiety? Worries? Can we break the habits and addiction over our lives? Can we break the inherited sins of past family members, like racism, of our own strength? Can we overcome the temptations and sin of this world of our own willpower? Can we live a fully matured, holy life, by our own goodness—by our own will? Can we find rest for our souls on our own? Can we overcome sin, and have everlasting life? If you answered yes to all of these, then congratulations, you have just sinned. Get baited.
But on a serious note, we can answer yes to some of these questions throughout our lives because things can just work for good sometimes. But we know that God alone is good—so then we also know that God has then worked in your life (or in you) whether you think you know Him or not. When we live our lives in love or commit an act of love towards someone, then we have experienced who God is (1 John 4:8; 1 John 4:16).
This in of itself is amazing. But God calls us for more, and He is constantly reaching out to us if we can hear His voice. A powerful quote by C.S. Lewis touches upon this concept of God speaking, “God whispers in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” How is God speaking to you today? He is seeking your time and attention; ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you (Matthew 7:7). So how can we do this? We can do this in prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; Jeremiah 29:12; Ephesians 1:18; 1 John 5:14; 2 Chronicles 7:14).