In my last Blog posting I outlined the start to my personal devotions, and I want to continue on that theme particularly in the area of prayer.
Once I have completed my bible reading, the rest of my devotional time is devoted to prayer and / or worship. I have a deep desire to pray true and spiritual prayers as opposed to religious and self-important prayers. What I mean by that is that I try to express in plain and clear language to God who I am and what I desire in my relationship with Him. The parable of the “Pharisee and the Tax Collector” in Luke 18: 9-14 is a stark reminder to all believers that it is not the appearances that matter but the reality of our relationship with God. The Pharisee in his prayer justified himself before God, while the Tax Collector humbled himself. I seek to follow the Tax Collector’s example in my own prayer life, asking God to reveal my motives and attitudes rather than assume that I am in perfect spiritual health.
I ask God to search me and all my motives and attitudes and where I need to confess and repent of things - I do. I ask God to wash me and to cleanse my mind and my emotions. Sometimes it is just the things that happen in every day life that can weigh down on us and cause us to stumble in personal pride or jealousy or a hardness of heart towards someone.
In my devotional time, I also spend time asking God to fill me and anoint me with his Holy Spirit. There might be a particular area where I ask him for help. It could be in parenting, or husbanding or even in ministry. I am of the firm conviction that I can only be fruitful through what I receive from God. In my devotions I seek to be filled and to draw on my relationship with God for my life.
My devotional life of prayer is first an expression of my relationship with God, before it is a list of requests and desires. If I am struggling to express myself in prayer, I use the Psalms to remind me of the kind of real and intimate language that is typical of spiritual prayer and so far removed from religious appearances.
May God bless you in your own devotional journey with Him. Next time I will continue with the theme of prayer and worship.