Life has been a little crazy here lately. The quietness of the COVID shutdown was nice in some ways. But now things are reopening and people are returning to school and work. I’m grateful to be rebuilding my dog walking business. (I mean, who wouldn’t be happy to get paid to play with puppies!) But, I definitely struggle more with the schedule when it comes to getting in my quiet time.
On the busy days, I have started listening to podcasts as I walk dogs. I was never one to really like talk radio, so podcasts seemed like they would not be something I like. But, I am finding them the perfect solution to mix in through the week. I still have my Bible study time at home with a good book on the days where I can. These podcasts help me keep my mind focused on the right things as I go about my work day.
A few days ago, I got my first clients of the day leashed up and headed out for our walk. I popped my headphones in and hit play. I wound up listening to two episodes from two different hosts. Since podcasts are still new to me, I have gone back to listen to earlier episodes. On this day, it was one from 5 years ago and one from 2 years ago. Both of these episodes were based on the same passage of scripture. I did not plan this! I simply set up a playlist with the oldest episode from each of the 2 podcasts. When things like this happen, I believe it is God trying to get my attention. What are the odds that I would listen to these two podcasts, recorded 3 years apart, on the same day?!
So, what was the passage?
I have never stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you wisdom to see clearly and really understand who Christ is and all that he has done for you. I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can see something of the future he has called you to share. I want you to realize that God has been made rich because we who are Christ’s have been given to him! I pray that you will begin to understand how incredibly great his power is to help those who believe him. It is that same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in heaven, far, far above any other king or ruler or dictator or leader. Yes, his honor is far more glorious than that of anyone else either in this world or in the world to come. And God has put all things under his feet and made him the supreme Head of the Church—Ephesians 1:16-22 (TLB)
Each podcast focused on different parts of Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians. Today, I want to focus on one message, that each included. God is longing for us to ask him to reveal himself.
What does it look like?
In their podcast, Conversations with John & Lisa, The Beveres shared how their “prayer time” looks different for each of them. But, remember, both hear from God! Perhaps the difference in their structure has to do with their different genders, or maybe it’s just their individual differences. I know that my prayer time has looked different at different stages of life. When I was in college, I had more time to have a really structured time. When I got married and had littles, it was definitely more hit and miss with LOTS of interruptions. Now, I have teens, but have to fit it around working and getting that much needed sleep in too! The key is having a heart that is ready and willing to listen and hear God’s voice wherever I am.
God is calling us to come and sit in his presence and just soak him up. He wants us to understand and learn to use all the power that is ours because we are his. And, he promises that if we look for him, we will find him. It’s as if God is calling us: Daughter, sit with me. Take a deep breath. Rest in me.
God wants us to come and sit with him – to be still and relax. He wants us to trust Him. He has a plan that is good. He is there, waiting for us, and we will find him. He calls us to enter into communion – a relationship – with Him! That is exactly what prayer is.
But it’s hard and I don’t know how….
I don’t find it odd to hear that a Christian struggles with prayer. After all, we are all still learning, still growing. And no matter how long you have been a Christian, there will always be new lessons to learn. The ultimate need of every person is to know God. So, how do we do that?
We enter His Presence through prayer. I like how D. A. Carson put it in his book Praying with Paul:
One of the foundational steps in knowing God, and one of the basic demonstrations that we do know God, is prayer – spiritual, persistent, biblically minded prayer.D. A. Carson, Praying with Paul
So, I am challenging myself to transform my prayer life over the next weeks and months. My own prayers are often inauthentic, self-centered, or formulaic. I am learning more about how God has made us – and me in particular. I am ready to move beyond the formulas and rituals into true relationship.
I want to know God. Like Jacob, I want to enter His throne room with boldness and know what it is to wrestle with God. I want to hear His voice, ask Him my questions…
Join me here as I explore the prayers of Paul recorded in the New Testament.
4 thoughts on “An Invitation…”
WOW! Sooooo good! Thank you for this! Lisa was at my church this past weekend–WHAT A POWERHOUSE!
We can do a lot of THINGS, but this time in the Word or in prayer is truly the thing that carries power and authority. You are right–it is beyond the formulas and rituals. It IS relationship. Soooo good!
One of these days, I hope to hear Lisa in person, too! She’s definitely a favorite author and I listen to her podcasts all the time.
Mandy, I can’t wait to read what you’re going to post next! I love the book of Ephesians and the prayers of Paul. A prayer life based on our relationship does require that we become still and rest. I struggle between the doing & the resting/trusting. Thank God that His mercies are new every morning!
Thanks so much Janelle!
I struggle with the whole idea of rest as well! But, I am finding that I can also connect in motion…IF I slow my mind enough to HEAR what He is saying.