Prayer is always on my mind. Mostly in a sense of desiring to know more about it; desiring to figure it all out. I have a feeling it is not something I will figure out or gain total control over. But I am not connecting with the God of the Universe in the best way I can. It can often be an afterthought, but at other times it is the first thought I have. I want it to be my first thought all the time.
I would love to have a running dialogue with the Lord all day. And sometimes I do. There are days of calm and quiet where I think of things to talk about with God so many times throughout the day. I will notice blessing and protection and provision that are straight from the hand of the Lord unceasingly all day. And I remember on those days to praise and thank the Lord for all of it. There are days I can see clearly His hand in bad things and even understand why they must be as they are.
I acknowledge God in the big things, but I want to commune with Him through the ordinary mundane; through the commonplace things as Oswald Chambers says. I want to pray the blood of Jesus over people who are in need of healing; people who need his eternal life.
This morning my Daily Bible had me in Acts 10 , where I came face-to-face with Cornelius, and his manner of prayer, of communicating with the Lord. He wasn’t a believer in Jesus, but he was a man of God-even though he was a Roman army officer. I wonder how he found the Lord. Who told him, a Gentile, about the Jewish God? But Scripture describes him as God-fearing and devout. And he had brought along everyone in his household. I am awed by this man. We are told in Acts 10:2 that he prayed regularly, and because of that, God met with him in a BIG way. At his regularly scheduled time, 3:00, God gave him a vision. He saw an angel coming toward him, and the angel knew his name!! How cool is that. The angel instructed him to send some men to Joppa to retrieve a man named Simon Peter.
Something I thought: if Cornelius was a God-fearing man, might he know who Simon Peter is?
As soon as the angel left, as soon as the vision was over, Cornelius set out to do what he was asked to do. He called two of his servants and send them to Joppa with instructions to find Simon Peter.
In order for God to use people for BIG things, they have to be faithful followers. They have to have a track record of meeting with Him, listening to Him, obeying Him.
I love that I can decide to dig into the concept of prayer and God sends me ideas to encourage me. I love that He is always prepared to meet me where I am and move me forward to where I need to be.
Peter indeed came to Cornelius’ house as he was directed. Cornelius had gathered all his relatives and close friends to hear what Peter would tell them. Cornelius and his group became some of the first Gentile believers. Maybe the very first? Not sure.
As far as I can figure out, Acts 10 is Cornelius’ only mention in Scripture; but in one chapter we find out so much about this man. I wonder how it would feel to be mentioned in Scripture? How it would feel to be a Cornelius. There are a lot of people in Scripture that I wouldn’t want to be; so many mentions of people who are such poor examples. I am sure they are people like me, because I can see myself so easily in them. But I WANT to see myself in Cornelius. I want to be that faithful follower. And I am…sometimes. But I know that God isn’t really a fan of us sometimes folks. So my heart craves deeper. My heart craves a connection that I am not finding.
Lysa Terkuerst says, “We must want Him MOST OF ALL.”
I do…sometimes. But sometimes I want food more than I want God. Sometimes I want to make wrong choices more than I want God. Sometime I want to live in pride more than I want God. How many things do I have above God?
Oswald Chambers said, “Are we prepared for God to do in us all that He separated us for?” The answer is most likely NO. But we all want the answer to be YES, right? A deep habit of prayer must be part of sanctification. We are justified at the moment of our salvation, but we have to work through our sanctification for our entire life on this earth. Chambers said,”Sanctification means intense concentration on God’s point of view. It means body, soul, spirit, chained and kept for God’s purpose only.”
I am not there. Ever. But I want to be. So much has to be dug out and replaced. We can never just dig out. Without replacing we have done the old put-off but not put-on, leaving the void that Satan will gladly fill up with more undesirable stuff.
So it all begins with prayer. A daily, unbreakable appointment with God. A period of time to sit and let the quiet seep in and words seep out. Pick a time that I know I am available everyday. I am picking the same time everyday. An appointment. A holy appointment. Starting tomorrow.
I am looking forward to learning from the Master Teacher Himself how best to communicate with Him. I am not finding enough time to read in my day, and the book I have on prayer by Charles Stanley is probably such a gem…since it seems like every time I try to spend time there, something happens. Satan is such a sneaky dude. So I close to go spend time in that book for the evening with a cup of tea and a highlighter!