The fall season spurs us to lean in toward the home, bundle up in warm clothes, snuggle up on the couch, and eat food that fills and comforts. It is marked by flavors and fragrances that spur smiles, and air that cleanses and rejuvenates.
Fall, like spring, really is a time for renewal, Amen?
This season, I encourage you to focus on your prayer life, and invite the Lord to meet you in ways you may not have for a long time, if ever.
I invite you to see your spring and summer body coming to a close, and begin peeling away to the bare branches of your spirit. I pray you discover that, just as the trees stand through the transition, and prepare to hold strong through the winter, so shall we find a moment of fragility and vulnerability.
Prayer is the key to communication with the Lord, and it is not meant to be taken lightly.
We are meant to not only praise, petition and present our requests,
but to literally fall down before Him.
Many places in the Bible speak of people awed by the presence of the Lord. Moses, Jacob, Isaiah, the disciples, John on the island of Patmos and the people who saw Him after His resurrection.. just to name a few. Just like these brothers and sisters, we should be so overcome by His greatness that our prayers deeply reflect it.
First, a few questions to assess where you are.
are you fully present or multitasking?
are you leading your heart through the prayer, or letting emotion lead you?
are you lamenting with praise, or complaining?
are you praying His will? or for Him to grant you your requests?
Just writing these out convicts me. I am guilty of going to the Lord with my agenda, and praying in just the right way that I feel I have honored Him, but I’ve clearly asked for my will to be done, not His. I am guilty of praying and just complaining; whether I’m sad I haven’t gotten my way, or I’m jealous of a friend who is getting hers. I am guilty of just sitting there refusing to pray.. though I’m in position and have plenty to repent.
I’m guilty of it all, ladies.
This time of refocusing has spurred me to introduce new steps into my prayer preparation. Yes, we are to pray ceaselessly and openly; in constant communication with God. But at least once per day we should seek our right place: face-down at the foot of the Cross, bare and vulnerable, wholly submitting to the One who gives us this life.
I invite you to consider these guidelines for yourself:
Be fully present
Not just while I’m doing the dishes, or folding laundry, but at this time I will be fully present. No distractions, no pretense. Just me and my Lord and all He already knows about me laid out before Him as an offering.
Lead my heart through prayer
Reminding myself that it’s by His grace I’m even here. Remembering that my own emotions have failed me so many times. This is my chance to lead my heart to submission and allow it to be filled with instruction rather than my own desires.
Remain in constant praise
No matter the pain. No matter the confusion. No matter what I am disagreeing with
I. Will. Praise. Him.
He has asked us to be grateful for the life we have, and I rarely find that level of praise for Him. I gripe and complain, and I beg for things to move in my favor. No more.. I will praise Him right where I am. Will you?
Pray His will be done
The requests always include my desires. But at this moment I will pray for His will to take over anything I will ask for that day. He knows I will stumble, and He knows I will feel arrogant and confident once I’m up off the floor.. but here, in this position of humility, I will pray His will be done in my life. I will pray He breaks me to rebuild me. I will pray He takes my life for Himself and leaves me hunting for Him through it all.
Focusing is difficult because it means we take other things out of focus. It’s no surprise what is supposed to be clear in our everyday.. but it’s always surprising when troubles come. Fixing our eyes on Jesus, and shaking off the devil’s edits to our prayer life; this is what brings life from the deadness of the season. This is what sustains us through the stillness.
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