Prayer Journal

Contrary to popular belief, God cannot answer the prayers of an unrighteous person. Even if we are Born Again, if we harbor unconfessed sin in our heart, God will not stay in our presence (Psalm 66:18; Proverbs 15:29).

Otherwise, there is no sin too horrific or concern too trivial to bring to Him in prayer. We can talk to God about anything and everything that is on our mind, and then sit in companionable silence to listen as He speaks to us.

So many people are intimidated by the concept of prayer. They hesitate to speak to God, because they think that He is too busy with the rest of the world to be bothered by our petty concerns.

They would never, ever pray in public, because they are afraid that people might judge their efforts and find them lacking. Yet, prayer is as easy as talking to your best friend. Jesus is our very best friend (Proverbs 18:24).

The only perfect, righteous man ever to live on planet earth bore the shame of the sins of every person ever born. Yet, He is our Good Shepherd who lays down His life for His sheep (John 10:11).

He willingly gave up His life for our eternal security (John 10:16-18, 15:13). He loves us without measure. He gave us His Word as our comfort and our guide.

Praying Bible verses gives us the life-giving power of the Word behind our prayers. These verses were well written by people who felt just like we do. They inspire us to pray using our own words too.

We can journal in a notebook as we pray, in order to record the issues on our heart. Then, when God answers those prayers we can record the date in our journal, which will increase our faith.

Taking time to listen to God’s answers as we pray allows Him to communicate with us in His still, small voice in the center of our being – in our spirit.

The more we sit in those quiet moments, the more we will hear from God, and the more we will come to recognize His voice (Psalm 46:10). He will lead us throughout our day in this same way.

Prayer:
Father God, prayer is the opportunity to speak to You, the God of the Universe. There is no being higher than You and Your ways are beyond human reasoning, because You already know the end from the beginning.

Listening to Your truth through Your Word and by You speaking to us in times of prayer is the greatest opportunity we can ever experience on this earth. We find our true joy only in Your presence in our life.

Draw us ever closer to Your heart and remind us that You are waiting to hear our voice in praise to Your glory, in contrition for our sins, and in wonder, both for who You are and for all that You do for us each day.

Thought for the Day:
Although God may not give us the answer we requested in our prayers, He will always give us something better; even if it does not seem like it at the time.

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Living in God’s Presence

I used to think that God wanted me to work for Him. I was under the impression that He desired for me to spend all of my time serving in the soup kitchen for the homeless, going to Bible studies, taking abandoned children into our home, helping to lead worship in my church, teaching adults how to read, witnessing to everyone I met and a myriad of other activities.

However, these very activities stole time away from my ability to actually live in the presence of God (1 Chronicles 28:9). Remember when Jesus went to the pool? He only healed one man (John 5:1-18).

Another time, when He walked through the crowd, only the woman who touched his garment was healed (Luke 8:43-48). Jesus did miracles and taught the crowds as He saw the Father working.

However, He spent more time in solitary places communing with our Father God (Matthew 6:9-13, 11:25-26, 14:23; Luke 6:12, 22:32, 22:41-44, 23:34; John 11:41-42, 12:27-28, 14:31, 17:1-26). He lived in the very center of God’s will.

We can learn a lesson from Jesus’ life. He listened to God, heard His direction and did only what the Father said and did (John 5:19, 5:30, 8:28, 12:49). God calls us to do this same thing.

We no longer rely on our human reasoning to direct our day. We seek the Lord and He directs our path (Proverbs 3:5-6). We walk through our day communing with our Father and following His Spirit’s direction even if it makes no human sense.

Sometimes, I actually argue with the Spirit’s leading, or discount it as a human thought, which just floated through my mind.

Maybe I am tired and I do not want to follow the Spirit’s leading. I have my own agenda for my day; so I decide to take a nap or go to the pool or play a game of Scrabble instead of obeying my Father’s will.

When I do, I quickly learn that I grieved the Holy Spirit and missed an opportunity to further the Kingdom of God.

Sometimes, God will lead us to nap, because of what lies ahead in our evening, or He has a person at the pool or the park whom He wants us to talk to about Jesus.

The point is to walk in the Spirit, so that we do not reap the consequences of living in the flesh (Galatians 5:15-25), thwart God’s will for our life or quench God’s Holy Spirit. We will have more time to rest in His presence.

Prayer:
Father God, keep our thoughts centered on You as we learn to walk in Your ways. Help us to understand that You do not want us to work for You, but to do the works, which You created us to do (Ephesians 2:10).

Remind us that it is not by our works of righteousness, or our might and power, but by Your Spirit that we live, move and have our being in You (Titus 3:5-7; Zechariah 4:6; Acts 17: 28).

Thought for the Day:
If Jesus did not speak for Himself, do anything through His own effort or strength, or teach anything of His own devising, how can we do otherwise?                                        – John 12:49-50, 7:18, 5:19, 30, 14:31