A Guaranteed Way to Get You in Your Prayer Closet
“Secret prayer is the springtime of life.” ~Evan Roberts
Spring is the perfect season to refresh our prayer lives. The return of the earth’s color and flora announces a new beginning in nature’s cycle of life.
Likewise, the Bible’s spring calendar reminds us of the ultimate source of new life: the death and resurrection of Jesus (Passover and First fruits), and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Feast of Weeks).
Such seasonal witnesses call us to a fresh start in our spiritual life – a breath of fresh air in our communion with God. So in the coming blogs I will seek to encourage us in prayer, and offer some practical advice to go deeper and stay focused.
After all, our connection to God is the most important out of the Five Vital Connections for Powerful Living.
But how do we make that connection and develop a robust, fruitful prayer life that blooms like the spring? We need the combination of two factors: inspiration and discipline.
Inspiration is the emotional energy to do something. Discipline is the focused routine that puts that energy to work.
Discipline needs inspiration the way a sailing yacht needs wind. The wind gives the boat natural energy; the hull and rudder give it structure and direction.
To pray well, then, we need both divine inspiration and sober discipline. The result: a fruitful prayer life.
So we begin by considering inspiration – a word derived from a Latin term that means to “breathe into” or to “in-spirit.”
When He gave us His Spirit, God generously provided His own presence, as well as multiplied “spiritual blessings,” to move our hearts into communion with Him.
As I see it, the Spirit’s chief way to inspire us to pray, is to unveil the sheer beauty of the Lord to our hearts.
God himself is our main motivation to pray. His beauty draws us; the pure pleasure of the divine persona inspires us.
He created us first to enjoy Him – “in your presence is fullness of joy!” – and so that He might enjoy us – “the prayer of the upright is his delight.”
Yahweh fashioned our hearts to be fascinated – fascinated, above all, by His own mysterious, glorious reality.“A cheerful heart has a continual feast.”
“My heart overflows with a good theme.”
Yahweh made our hearts to feast on His goodness and overflow with His love (Rom 5:5). A true worshipper of God has an “overflowing heart.” When I muse on God’s wonders and the eternal, diamond-like qualities of His personality, my heart overflows.
Consider some of David’s lyrics:
“One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple” (Psa 27:4).
“Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. Your righteousness is like the mountains of God; your judgments are like the great deep…
“How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light” (Psa 36:5-9).
We “feast” on Yahweh’s glorious attributes by considering them, speaking them, praying them, and experiencing them. When we do, the divine personality floods our hearts.
Have you ever noticed how certain people make us feel good just by being around them? Their encouraging words, sincere smile, genuine interest, selfless love, and practical wisdom combine to energize us and help us along the way.
I have friends like that. I especially think of those truly seasoned saints, full of the Spirit, with whom I have spent time. Their track record of worship, prayer, relationships, suffering, learning, forgiving, and growing forged them into sweet, Christ-like people of the highest order.
Simply being with them makes me a better person. They bear the fruit of the Spirit. So their mature, truly spiritual disposition nourishes me. Don’t you want to spend time with someone like that?
How much more should we be inspired to spend time in the presence of our Father, the eternal Son of His love, and the present glory of the Holy Spirit!
Think of communing with a Person who actively possesses the eternal character traits of divinity…
Who doesn’t want to be around someone like that? I want to be with Him, Yahweh God, this wonderful Person, in all of His triune glory, for the sheer beauty of His personality. I want to experience Him and have His personality rub off on me.
His beauty inspires us, draws us, thrills us, and satisfies our hearts’ deepest longings.
So if you’re struggling for the willpower to pray, don’t merely think of the time you have to spend.
Think of the One with whom you will spend it.