Theme of the Week: Saying Yes to Jesus
Bible Verse: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name.” Matthew 6:9b
Scripture Reading: Psalm 63:1-11
My prayer life stunk. No, not smelly; it was unenjoyable, distant, and powerless. I was more comfortable doing things for God than being with God. If prayer was a vital sign, I was flat-lining.
I’d heard the sermon, read the books, and I had tried. Trying mostly meant reading and searching for “the right way.” The “right way,” of course, would be easy and emotionally gratifying. Right?
For years I’d heard teaching about praying the Psalms. Jesus, Israel, and the historical church prayed them and learned prayer through them. But praying the Psalms wasn’t easy, didn’t feel good, and the language often didn’t resonate with me.
Years of distance between my personal Saviour and me finally led me to stop being in charge of my devotional life and submit. Did you catch that dirty “S” word?
I started praying the Psalms because the case to do so was as compelling as the short-term experience was disappointing. Dreadfully dry days gave way to promising weeks and then fruitful months. Praying the Psalms changed my walk with God. It wasn’t a silver bullet, but there’s a clear before and after “Psalms” in my prayer life.
Submission was necessary. I, Tim Pippus, master of my spiritual life, admitted I needed a guide. I submitted to the choir of voices that had been saying to pray the Psalms. Modern people are mostly scandalized by submission, and yet our failure to submit often keeps us from life. Doing what we’re told has a place.
More importantly, the haunting rumour that knowing God personally in prayer was both the centrepiece and endgame of Christian living turned out to be true. Jesus prioritized time alone with his Father. Jesus got up early, stayed up late, and even refers to demons that can only be cast out through prayer. His relationship with His Father was so central and vital to His life and ministry that His disciples asked Him to teach them to pray (not preach, change the world, etc.).
Saying “yes” to Jesus means a closer walk with Jesus. Saying “yes” also means submission. Keep pursuing a life of prayer! It won’t make God love you more, but it will transform your life with God. Say yes to prayer!
Prayer: “You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. … I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you” (Psalm 63:1, 3-4).
Reflection: How is your prayer life in this season? If you’re stuck and talk of intimacy with God seems fake or elusive, then set aside any sense of shame and begin to think and pray about who you might approach to guide you to a deeper walk with the Lord.
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