Welcome to Bible study night! Just kidding—it’s postponed, haha! Not a laughing matter… I’m actually super disappointed that we have had to push back tonight’s meeting to next week, due to a torrential downpour that has hit Dallas. I am hopeful, though, that this is a coming sign of Spring. As much as I despise rain, I hate the cold so much more.
So that being said, what we are going to talk about tonight instead, is how we can prepare our hearts for this study. There are two ways: prayer and humbling ourselves. I will cover the first tonight.
I’ve been asking Jesus lately for the desire to communicate with him more. In the past, I’ve found (made) prayer to be more difficult than it actually is—I would find myself either giving up after drifting off in my thoughts, or using some language that sounded more rehearsed than from a genuine place in my heart. So more often than not, I would just neglect prayer altogether, unless I needed to ask God for something. Even then, I would kind of just ask in passing. There is one time in my life, about two years ago that I can call on specifically, where I was spending time praying and writing down my petitions to God; things that I wrote down and brought to God at that time, I have seen answered in entirety today—this act of God’s faithfulness is a kept promise of the effectiveness of prayer that I have chosen to stand on.
Watching Abi Stumvoll’s teaching series, Redefined by Love, also helped me to change my perspective on who God is in a way that allowed me an understanding, deeper than head knowledge, that God actually likes me and desires to just talk to me. Just talk. He really is our friend, and a huge part of the enjoyment of our friendships stretches beyond spirituality into the ability to just be–to laugh with and cherish the kindred presence of someone we can be totally ourselves in front of.
Then… sometimes, there are those days and those nights. You know the ones! You’re exhausted. You want to be in one place, but have to be in another. Work’s crazy. Distractions and insecurities are tugging at your heart. The sun is nowhere to be found, and walking outside turns you into what feels, quite literally, like a soggy pile of garbage. You come home to a sick dog (or kid), dirty dishes, and the battle of sifting through your day to find just a grain of motivation to not go straight to bed with a bad attitude and call it a day. This is my day, and it’s one of those where to my flesh it feels least appropriate and least desirable to pray. It just doesn’t come naturally today. But to be perfectly honest with myself and with you–as you may already know deep down, these are the days when we possibly need to be the most dedicated to prayer. I’ve begun to read Job lately, and it has been a struggle! It is a lot of grief verbalized, and it can be downright debilitating to read. I continue though, because I think that may be the very point that my soul needs to grasp. Troubles, suffering, and even simple annoyances are not just likely in this life, but they are guaranteed. It is what we d,o and where we run, and who our reliance is in when we encounter them that makes all the difference. Like Job, it is imperative that we realize our Redeemer lives to bring justice to these areas of imperfection in our lives.
Knowing then, that prayer works (James 5:16), that God is called El Roi, the One who sees me (Genesis 16:13), and that prayer is not reserved only for praises or petitions, but cries and lamentations too, how then can we not desire to commit whole heartedly to prayer in every moment and season of our lives?
I’ve written all of this in hope that you would join me in placing more importance on prayer and making it a priority in your life. I want us collectively to remain in prayer, rather than just say a prayer.
So start right now! Talk to our God.
Then come back tomorrow and let’s tackle humility together.
(A little additional homework for ya–check out this Spotify playlist I’ve created just for you!)
Love you, ladies!