“Hear, O Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly.” (Deuteronomy 6:3a)
Presently, if you are experiencing summer weather, you will have a hankering for air conditioning. Spiritually speaking, there is a comparison in the area of growth in prayer – only we can call it prayer conditioning! Growth in prayer power is a multifaceted process. Just like in flying lessons, one learns to tune up his engine in preparation for startup and take off of the flight, studying the Word of God gets you to think and line-up your aspirations in the right direction in order to pray prayers that can be answered. This is the preparatory step that aligns you with the will of God. Where the will of God is done, there the power of God can be demonstrated.
(a) Seeking the mind of the Lord: In this initial step of prayer conditioning, we must begin to see ourselves as God sees us. We must put aside all distractions and be quiet before His throne. This can become a time of personal spiritual surgery! Often the Lord will shine His spotlight on areas that need attention and rectification in your life and mine. This also becomes a time of learning to fine tune our listening skills to hear the Spirit of God speaking to our spirit.
(b) Knowing the mind of Christ: Secondly, we must learn to focus on His holy presence. At this stage in the process of prayer conditioning, many of us struggle with a wandering mind. However, there should be no reason for distress at this point. Simply redirect your thoughts to return to God through the medium which stole your concentration. For instance, if while seated praying in the back yard a beautiful bird distracts you, allow the handiwork of God in that creature to help you to re-focus on the Creator…the amazing manner in which He equipped it to fly… its innate ability to build a nest and care for its young… the sweet song He invested in it. In the end, allow your mind to wander back to God.
(c) Fulfilling the mind of Christ: Thirdly our primary goal must be to fulfill the mind of Christ in every level of our life. This demands nothing less than our utmost obedience to the Master. This includes our thoughts and attitudes that no one else sees, and words, actions, and lifestyle wherever we may be. Keep in mind that He is a holy God and desires the same from us, His creation. That includes while working on the car, while shopping in the grocery store, while on the highway and someone has rude gestures for you, or while learning to familiarize yourself with a new culture, language, and surroundings when serving in a foreign country.
Even as you and I persevere towards productive prayer, may our times of being still before Almighty God become frequent. Let us be less resistant at His purging and more productive in fulfilling His glorious purposes in us, so that He may be glorified through us. Today may each distraction in your life become a detour toward God!
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