Tuesday, April 2, 2013

ali's Corner. [When Did I Stop Praying?]

Often times,
when I hear the term
"spending time with Jesus,"
it connotes a temporary
amount of time set aside
to bask in the presence of The Lord.
To pray, to worship,
and to read God's Word.

But what happens when
I rise from my morning devotionals?
Do I truly carry the Scripture
on my heart?
Or does it fall out of my ears
the moment I stretch from
my cozy blanket and
mug of coffee?

In the Book of James,
it says,
"But don't just listen to
God's word.  You must 
do what it says.
Otherwise, you are only
fooling yourselves.
For if you listen to the word
and don't obey, 
it is like glancing at your face
in a mirror.
You see yourself, walk away,
and forget what you look like."
-James 1:22-24

During my own spiritual walk,
I've noticed a recurring theme.
I do exactly what this verse
in James says not to do!

It seems discouragingly easy for me
to lay God's Word down each morning
and pick up my daily burdens.

What I should really doing is 
laying my daily burdens at The Cross
and writing God's Promises
on my heart.

It's as if upon the arrival of adversity,
I forget Who God is.

His faithfulness.
His goodness.
His perfect will.
His love.
His justice.

But what if...
my calling to
"spend time" with my Savior
...never ended?

What if my daily devotional
time was proceeded with
constant communication
with Jesus?

A communication so constant,
that I literally

What if I took Jesus with
me into my day
simply by allowing Him into
(Instead of closing Him in my Bible
and leaving Him on my nightstand.)

What if upon arising from my slumber,
I greeted Him with this:

Singing to Him in the shower,
Sing to the Lord and praise His name...(Psalm 96:1)

Having a heart-to-heart with Him
on my way to work,
Cast all of your anxiety on Him
because He cares for you...(1 Peter 5:7)

Being joyful amidst trials,
Be joyful always...(1 Thessalonians 5:16)

Thanking Him for my struggles,
Be thankful in all circumstances...(1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Because I know 
He works ALL things
together for the GOOD of those who
love Him and are called according
to His purpose...(Romans 8:28)

All of these things for the simple
reason that 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says,
"Never stop praying."

Never stop praying?

Surely the underlying problem
at hand with sin, such as,
is that these feelings
often are a result of us
losing sight of how incredibly
big God is.

I once read somewhere that when
Mother Teresa was asked how many times
a day she prays,
she simply replied,
"Well, I never stop."

I can't help but dream how
my life would be different
if I literally never stopped praying.

What if...the next time I caught
myself in the midst of
I stopped and asked myself,
"When did I stop praying?"

What if constant prayer
was the new normal?

Christ came to give peace!
And what if
we have our own sort of 
"Promised Lands"
here on Earth leading to

not only experiencing
constant communication with Jesus,
but constant peace where our hearts
and souls can not just rest, but live. 

In Beth Moore's book, Believing God,
she says, "If you're not presently
occupying your [Promised Land], rest
assured the devil is."

What if, as followers of Christ,
our new "state of mind"
was that of one in
constant communication 
with our Creator?

I can't help but allow my mind
to drool at the thought, 
nearly needing a rope
to lasso my imagination 
back into this millennium.

Our Jesus is constantly
calling us to Him
with open arms.
He desires to be in relationship with us.
One that is constantly growing more
intimately and with fierce passion.

However, He stands at the door and knocks.
He doesn't force Himself in.
We must be willing to invite Him into
every aspect of our lives,
so He can work.

Our hearts and minds can
adapt to this new style of living.
So that when adversity hits,
our first line of defense is
that of the shield of faith,
the sword of the spirit,
the breastplate of righteousness,
the helmet of salvation,
and feet fitted with readiness
to fight for peace! (Ephesians 6:10-17)

So next time I find myself in despair,
I will ask,
"When did I stop praying?"

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