Foundation is very important. We discover the importance of prayer through the truth of the scriptures but we often find ourselves in the position of lacking action towards that truth. Let’s simply take a look at what the tools of a scripturally based prayer life look like and then practice putting the tools to use in our daily life. The prayers throughout the tool box are simply a scriptural foundation from which to use that your heart may be stirred as you enter into His presence. In my experience in using the tool box I will sometimes pray several sentences or halfway into a written prayer and hit a certain area when the Holy Spirit grabs me and I stop to follow His leading. He sometimes gives me new words to pray or I may find myself simply repeating a prayer passage multiple times until I feel released to move forward. He may put a particular person or group of people on my heart for which to pray or I may simply find that it’s ok to stop at that point without finishing the written prayer and move on towards my next task in that time.
I remember when I first met the beautiful girl who would later become my wife. We were both waiters at the Black Eyed Pea restaurant. I finally got up the nerve to ask her on a date so we went to the Interurban one evening and sat down at a booth. At that moment, we had to find a foundation from which our conversation with each other would flow. That conversation would slowly lead to other points of interest and open doors to other topics. Prayer life with our Father is much the same way. He enjoys sharing that intimate time with us and it is exciting to Him as we choose to walk and work with Him. He is the foundation of our prayer life and as we begin the prayer process it gives the Holy Spirit opportunity to open the eyes of our hearts so that we may see the wonderful harvest of our heavenly Father and join hands with Him to be a fruitful worker! Prayer with our Lord is not a robotic and mechanical conversation that is impersonal but it is truly the daily, ongoing expression of our friendship with Him as we desire to see as He sees, hear as he hears, and do as he calls.
Do I really want this?
A clear direction in life brings purpose and meaning to our thoughts and actions. Every person alive thinks about something every day from the time they wake up to the time they lay down to sleep. We are creatures of habit and so we tend to keep repeating the same cycle of daily living whether we like what we are doing or not. We may grow weary and angry at the decisions we are making and even purpose in our hearts to change our habits. With all of the strength we can muster, we burst out into the ocean waves and swim against it with all of our might. Ultimately we lose strength and the power of the waves send us tumbling back onto the shore of our old habits. This process leaves us feeling defeated and weak. However, take joy my child, because this is exactly where our Heavenly Father can and will do His greatest work in you.
To successfully achieve goals and change behaviors requires feeding yourself with God’s truth into your life. There is a saying that if you want to master something you will need to invest 10,000 hours (10 years) of your life. This is only to help you understand that changing your behaviors and actions take time. The things you look at, the words you read, the songs and teachings you may listen to, are all food to your spirit. If you feed junk into yourself then expect to have a life full of junk. No one truly aspires to a daily life of eating bags of Cheetos, sitting on the couch all day wearing a 30lb diaper full of irresponsible and lazy habits, picking at your toenails and expecting someone else to clean up after the slob that you have become. I realize that is a graphic picture, perhaps a bit over the top, but if that doesn’t give you a nudge to take seriously what is being said here then maybe you have already answered the question that has been posed at the top of this section.
Procrastination & distraction is the big pile of stink sitting in the middle of the room that no one wants to admit getting near but in reality it is easy for any of us to take a nice mushy seat right in the middle. Eating chocolate is a pleasurable habit. Eating raw broccoli, not so much. How do we convince our taste buds that eating raw broccoli before eating chocolate is the right thing to do? Just because you may have a lack of interest to complete a goal or task doesn’t mean you can just sit back and let others do the work. Begin to look at the life lessons that can be found in everything you do and use your experiences to teach and help others. Take off the 30lb diaper and purpose in your thinking to do the right thing and see the result in your actions.
Change is something in life that you can depend on. How you handle change in your own life will impact others. Let me be clear, you will impact the lives of others around you regardless of how you handle change. Romans 14:11 says every knee will bow and everyone will confess to God. How do you anticipate your conversation with your Father will go when that time comes? How is your conversation and friendship with God even now? Our heavenly Father has given us the resources of scripture, prayer, friendship with Him and a shared life with other believers to encourage and strengthen us in our walk. He lays all this before us but only we can pick it up and choose to be fruitful and successful as Kingdom people in our daily lives, making the most of the time He has given to us. Do you really want this? Only you can answer this question and only by His strength can you break through the waves to a life of freedom in Him for the purposes of His Kingdom.