Monday, July 16, 2012

Prayer Is a Learned Relationship that Comes by Doing.

Bug on a button bush

In 1977 I was asked to teach a course on prayer in the M.Div. program at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary. I knew the main requirement for my course was to actually pray. Not simply to read books on prayer, or to just discuss prayer, or to agree that we needed to pray. All of those things are meaningless if one does not actually pray. And, if you really want to learn about prayer, then...   pray.

That was the year I began to carve out time to pray. It doesn't seem like much, but I was setting aside daily half-hour blocks to go alone to be with God, and talk and listen. Were I to rank the top 5 spiritual decisions of my life, this would be on the list. At first it was difficult to do. I did not know how to be alone with God. Such a sad truth! But God, in his loving grace, was merciful to me. God assisted me time and time again. Now 35 years have past. 3000+ pages of journal entries. Thousands of hours with God!

As much as I love the many corporate experiences I have had with God, my alone-time with him is the wellspring of my spiritual existence. Overwhelmingly, my most powerful Jesus-encounters have just been with me and him. In these times I consistently experience God's undivided attending to me. I've had many brokenness-experiences that lead to breakthroughs, and have recorded them in my journal.

When you confer with God daily the conference never ends.

If you want the God-encounter, meet with him today. He welcomes this, and will counsel you in this as he draws alongside you. Prayer is a learned relationship that comes by doing.