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JoeA
Member



Joined: 2004/11/29
Posts: 364
Decatur, Illinois

 Prayer: So simple, yet so hard

I have tried many different methods to obtain a more intimate relationship with God. I have tried meditating on His attributes, meditating on the Cross, and simply looking unto Him. While all of these provide a momentary closeness to the Father, they are not definite. It's hard to maintain the intimacy, and when i lose it, i become discouraged and stumble.

I have however, found that the one thing which keeps me definitley intimate with God is prayer. It seems like the most simple thing to do, and indeed it is. If we want to be close to someone, we talk to them, get to know them better. Yet, as simple as prayer may seem, it is the most difficult thing in the world to do. The spirit truly is willing, but the flesh is indeed so weak.

It isn't so hard to get on my knees and mindlessly go through heartless prayers that i've memorized. They provide a peace of mind, and they ease my conscience because i've gone through my "devotions", but they don't bring the intimacy. No, the hard thing to do is truly getting on my knees and wrestling with God in prayer. Wrestling against the powers and principalities, and interceding for others because of a true burden.

Why is it so hard though? I want more than anything to be intimate with God like never before, yet the most simple thing to do is for me the hardest. I think of Jacob, wrestling with God all night long. He walked away from that encounter with a limp, and he limped for the rest of his life. Maybe that's why it's so hard for me to take hold of Him. Maybe deep down i'm afraid that i will walk away from God with a limp. Maybe i'm afraid that after meeting God, i'll be crippled.
Oh that He would remove any such fears from my heart! Oh that i might limp for Christ.


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Joe Auvil

 2006/7/17 19:28Profile
deltadom
Member



Joined: 2005/1/6
Posts: 1792
Hemel Hempstead

 Re: Prayer: So simple, yet so hard

I think that defines my prayer life ,yet so simple but yet so hard but it should not be!!
I wish I had answers
Dom


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Dominic Shiells

 2006/7/17 20:02Profile
InTheLight
Member



Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2734
Phoenix, Arizona USA

 Re: Prayer: So simple, yet so hard

Just a little food for thought here. I believe prayer and Bible study are products of an intimate walk with Jesus and not the source of that intimacy. When we try to use these things as a way to become intimate with Him we just end up feeling guilty all the time when we don't pray or read the Bible. How much prayer and study is enough to be close to God?

The devotions of prayer and Bible study just naturally flow from the one already intimate with Jesus, from one who lives at the foot of the cross and is cleansed by the blood.

In Christ,

Ron


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Ron Halverson

 2006/7/17 21:58Profile
WorldView
Member



Joined: 2006/7/10
Posts: 94
Davao, Philippines

 Re:

Too true too true, prayer is often difficult. The devil doesnt want us to pray so he will do whatever he can to distract us. I dont know if it has happened to you, but sometimes just when I am about to pray or beginning to pray, a distraction comes. Maybe someone knocks on my door, calls me on the phone or I remember to do something that needs immediate attention. We need to be focused.

Lots of times when I pray I find my mind wandering. One way to keep my mind in line with what I am praying for is to use the Word of God. Read the Bible for a while before praying or find a verse that you feel the Lord is giving to you and meditate on it while you pray. If you are praying for finance, find a scripture that describes the generosity and faithfulness of our God.

One thing I notice is what we spend most of our time doing will dominate our thoughts. For example If I play video games for two hours before I pray, while my eyes are closed I can see the video game in my imagination.

So before you pray get your mind focused and inline with your spirit-man. If a distraction comes, put it out of your mind and meditate on the scripture.

I also pray in the Holy Spirit using tongues this also helps. the only downside is since you are praying out of your spirit and not in one's native language, your mind may begin to wander. So it takes training your mind to focus.

Prayer is part of my lifestyle now, but when I first began to daily pray for long periods of time, I noticed that sometimes it would take me about 30 minutes to break through opposition and resistance in my prayers before I could really feel the Spirit of God doing a work. Sometimes it would even take an hour. Now after years of training my mind and spirit, as soon as I begin to pray I can feel the presence of God fall in my midst.

We need to be persistant. Just continue no matter what. If you can, committ a certain time each day to praying and do not cut it short even if it is hard to pray. It will begin to train your mind and spirit to get in tune with the Spirit of God.

Remember, your prayers are tearning down demonic strongholds so there will be resistance. Dont give in and dont give up.


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Keith

 2006/7/17 22:59Profile
freedbyjc
Member



Joined: 2004/7/29
Posts: 204
Jacksonville. Florida

 Re: Prayer: So simple, yet so hard

It is simple...

You spend hours playing video games, watching TV and movies, lurking on the forums, reading the Word, talking to friends, your family and your co-workers.

Spend all of this time with Christ...live like He [b]is truly ALIVE [/b] and with you at every moment! Walk with Him and talk with Him during every waking moment. Give Him your day and then invite Him to live it with you!

Read Brother Lawrence's [url=http://www.ccel.org/ccel/lawrence/practice.html]The Practice of The Presence of God:The Best Rule of Holy Life[/url] at CCEL. It's public domain and free. It's short but it exemplifies one humble man's journey...it's not an easy task but it follows the thought of actually LIVING the life we are called to, connnecting to our true source of power moment-by-moment not just once a week.

This is the true essence of prayer that you find supported by Tozer, Torrey, Forsythe or any of the great prayer writers. There is no specific pattern, rhyme, rhythem, nor ritual, to prayer... it's purely relational. You and your God-like Adam & Eve in the Garden before the Fall.

Dear ones, we try so hard to make Christ a cruel taskmaster when He tells us that, Matthew 11

[i][b]The Son Gives Knowledge and Rest[/b]
25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and learned and revealed them to infants.
26 Yes, Father, because this was Your good pleasure.
27 All things have been entrusted to Me by My Father. No one knowsthe Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son desiresto reveal Him.
28 “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
29 All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves.
30 [b]For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” [/b][/i]

Seek a living relationship with your LIVING saviour, tell Him of your fears and your heartfelt desire for more meaningful conversation and more relatiosnp time with Him and your prayer worries will disappear.


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bill schnippert

 2006/7/18 10:06Profile
WorldView
Member



Joined: 2006/7/10
Posts: 94
Davao, Philippines

 Re:

Quote:

freedbyjc wrote:
It is simple...

You spend hours playing video games, watching TV and movies, lurking on the forums, reading the Word, talking to friends, your family and your co-workers.

Spend all of this time with Christ...live like He [b]is truly ALIVE [/b] and with you at every moment! Walk with Him and talk with Him during every waking moment. Give Him your day and then invite Him to live it with you!

Seek a living relationship with your LIVING saviour, tell Him of your fears and your heartfelt desire for more meaningful conversation and more relatiosnp time with Him and your prayer worries will disappear.



Amen. We reaslly need to re-evaluate our time. This modern world has so many distractions that have taken a hold of our minds, and many people we prefer entertainment over a relationship with the Almighty God. The sad truth is, most Christians want more of God but are not willing to do what it takes to get it.

As stated in Hebrews, we need to lay aside every weight that may so easily beset us. Not just lay aside every wieght that WILL beset us but remove anything that MAY beset us; anything that might even pose a threat to knocking us off course.

Though reflecting on the qoute above I would not reccomend forsaking our relationships with our friends and family (not that it was implied), but to re-evaluate our time..


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Keith

 2006/7/18 11:29Profile
GodsPeace
Member



Joined: 2005/9/8
Posts: 60


 Re:

Hi,

In my personal experience. I think the sin of prayerlessness preceded all other sins. In Jesus' life and ministry prayer preceded his actions.

I remember as a baby in Christ talking to my pastor's wife about prayer. She felt that too much prayer could lead to an unbalanced life. So I listened to her. It was the easy thing to do.

I got involved in Bible College, later in Seminary and all the while had some kind of ministry going on. But I prayed but little and "My ministry" was rarely fruitful. Eventually, I backslid altogether, "enjoying" a long walk back in the world.

God has opened the door for me to return to Him and it is clear that I must pray. When I don't, bad things happen. I seek out diversions - entertainment. My TV, usually cold and dead, springs to new life, or I spend too much time on this computer, not in the word, or fellowship, or prayer. My walk suffers, My friends suffer. Everything suffers.

I read the Bro. Lawrence booklet years ago, and again recently,(actually, "Practicing His Presence" with Frank Laubach's contributions added) and wish I could walk in that completely, but so far I haven't been able to. His was deep "praying without ceasing". I wish I met one good example during my life that did and taught just that. One man I met in a distant town recently claimed to do pretty much this, though I can't say how deep. He also said something quite simple. He said, "You know? I have a hard time sinning when I'm praying!" (He was implying trying to do both at the same time.)

For me, I do pray throughout the day, but I need a special time to get more focused. What I try to do is pick a time late at night after I know nobody will call. or disturb me. I set a time - one hour - more is OK, but less isn't. I know it sounds cold and mechanical, it IS... sometimes. Other times I know I am drawing closer to Him. Especially when I praise Him for His holiness together in fellowship with the seraphim and the heavenly host.

I think it is important to know the obstruction that sin can be to prayer. There is a good message by Ernest W. O'Neill at worldinvisible.com in the spiritual life series beginning with the title called "Spiritual Prayer" and continuing with the next message or so. I hesitate to refer him because I don't fully agree with his theology all the time, but his message on spiritual prayer is great. I think it also helps to know the theology behind our being a royal priesthood who’s way was prepared once-for-all into the holiest place through the blood of Jesus. It is important - crucially so - for us to realize that this was all done by God. (Read Ezekiel 36.) And He does not hold back from us. He's just waiting behind a veil that He did not just pull open - He TORE open through Jesus' death. So that we may boldly approach Him with unveiled faces so that we may look at His glory and be changed from one degree of glory to the next by our time in his presence. For His glory!

Thanks,

Jeffrey


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J. Buzza

 2006/7/18 14:44Profile
JoeA
Member



Joined: 2004/11/29
Posts: 364
Decatur, Illinois

 Re:

Quote:
Just a little food for thought here. I believe prayer and Bible study are products of an intimate walk with Jesus and not the source of that intimacy. When we try to use these things as a way to become intimate with Him we just end up feeling guilty all the time when we don't pray or read the Bible. How much prayer and study is enough to be close to God?



I agree with this, and also with many other replies. I find though, that there are seasons in which i can truly pray to God in a sincere way, but after a few days, my prayer time begins to lag (mainly because of time restrictions). "Pray without ceasing" to me means don't give up on my prayer time. To be like Jesus. . .

Thanks for all the suggestions.


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Joe Auvil

 2006/7/18 20:44Profile
LivingMartyr
Member



Joined: 2006/7/19
Posts: 2
Wandering Lost in an Imperfect Time

 Re: Very well said!

"...Spend all of this time with Christ...live like He is truly ALIVE and with you at every moment! Walk with Him and talk with Him during every waking moment. Give Him your day and then invite Him to live it with you!..."

I think this is very kool. I for one never really think to do this in my day, mostly cuz I have my mind on other things. I find that more often or not, I ramble off some quick prayer in the morning before work, and that’s the last I talk to God through my day. I really need to work on the “talking” aspect with my Savior.

God Bless

Living Martyr


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God is my Judge

 2006/7/19 0:44Profile
freedbyjc
Member



Joined: 2004/7/29
Posts: 204
Jacksonville. Florida

 Re: Time Restrictions

Quote:
I find though, that there are seasons in which i can truly pray to God in a sincere way, but after a few days, my prayer time begins to lag (mainly because of time restrictions).

Again, simply, all the time [1440 minutes every day]that we have in this life God gives us to do as [b]we [/b] will. What then is [b]your [/b] will? If it is to do as you want ... then [i]'your pace is sufficient.'[/i] [No pun intended]

If it is to Glorify God by seeking to do His will then, as Paul tells us, 'His grace is sufficient' and you will be delivered of your affliction.


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bill schnippert

 2006/7/19 8:24Profile





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