A bunch of us; my friends and I were discussing on a certain day outside the house while doing a little laundry. All of a sudden, one of us made a striking statement that got the attention and stares of everyone present. It is a common statement I have heard as a complaint or passing tired remark from some Christians overtime but as he said it that morning, it got me thinking and reviewing a lot of things in my head
This friend said “man, I really hate praying”
Well, of course now you understand why he earned provoking and funny stares, it almost seemed as though everyone wanted to lay hands on a brother and deliver him from every spirit about to snatch him away from the hands of the lord.
You know what? I actually admired the boldness of this brother. This very statement is one of the many struggling thoughts of several Christians all over the world. Let me break this ice, please
Dear, Prayer Is Very Stressful And Tiring.
I sure hope I don’t cause you to skip this article onto the next but I just need you to understand that you are not the only struggling with your prayer. A handful of us out there in the world struggle with it every morning
We struggle to connect with God, to relate with him, to speak with and to him and convey our feelings on how much we need him. The pressing issue is that often times or not, we barely commune, it almost looks as though we are hauling and throwing our demands at him.
“I will enter his gates with thanksgiving win my heart, I will enter his court with praise”
Most of us never get past the gates, a host of us, in fact, end the journey of communion at the gate, we barely enter right through the court. We just waltz into the gates and start to shout at him from afar
“Lord, I want a car”
“Father,Lord, my husband is a bum”
“Lord, I want to get married”
I understand that God is omnipresent and all-knowing. , oh! He even knows your demands and needs even before you ask him. If he were a man I will sure pity him over the demands he needs to process from different walks of life
We can barely last an hour in prayer before thoughts of what to do start to creep in: the papers and documents to type, that email you need to send out. Oh! that food on the stove-top and all of a sudden the Christian packs up his load and shifts his prayer journal one side and concludes on this note I have heard and done so many times.
“Well, I am going to pray a while later when am done sorting out my problems and handling issues on my desk”
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean you shouldn’t handle your issues and clear your desk, but that desk of worry can be cleared later by the lord if you allow him to do so. The errands, office and house chores can actually wait for a healthy communion with God, your problem is prioritization and time management
That is the way your flesh and mind works when you have not broken through in prayer.
Your flesh just wants to get onto the next thing, it wants to do anything but pray because it understands that the more you pray, surrender and cave in the presence of God, you are bound to kill it completely and send its desires far away. Mr. Flesh will stop at nothing to keep you from praying, just anything but prayers.
I like to analyze our discussion with the flesh thus:
“Precious, you can’t pray, you are tired, you have been running around the block, going grocery shopping, lectures and work and you are stressed. I think you need to sleep. Oh! How about that file your boss asked you to send. Wow, you haven’t even paid the electricity bills and the house rent is piling up. My God! Precious, the kid’s school fees are yet to be paid. Well, I suggest you leave this your intimacy stuff to ask the Lord to either help you or you go sort out your issues yourself
We all have this conversation daily even without knowing it. That is just because we allow them to take place each time.
That presence we so much crave
I read these words from Benny Hinn’s “the anointing” which I suggest you grab a copy and settle down to read prayerfully. They sort of reminded me of the exact experience I had on a certain day. I groped my chest and cried for mercy all through the day. It felt as though my heart ached for more of God. How I wanted nothing else than to be in his presence
I lay on the bed in my Detroit hotel room and relaxed, praying quietly and worshiping the Lord. It was a Saturday night in 1980, the clock showed midnight, and I was to preach the next morning and evening at a church just outside of town.
After a few moments, the presence of God came into the room so strongly that tears began to roll down my face and I was caught up in His glory. The presence-that wonderful presence of the Holy Spirit that had so revolutionized my life several years earlier—was so heavy that I was oblivious to everything.
Before I knew it, the time was 2 A.M., and I was still praying. The next morning I rose quickly, feeling rested and strong, and prayed again before leaving for the service. I was aware that my prayer session this time was not extraordinary. It felt nothing like the night before, but that would have been hard to equal.
I went to the service and, when the time came, began to preach. I opened my mouth to say the first words, and a cloud of glory came into that building. It was as though the shekinah—the awesome holy presence of God Almighty—glory had arrived. It was heavy—so heavy that you couldn’t move.
People began to weep. As I was speaking, some fell from their seats onto the floor. They just crumbled and sobbed. Their response was amazing. What was happening?
Then I closed my eyes and said one word: Jesus. Whoosh! God’s presence and power swept through the auditorium even greater than before and people everywhere were moved. I saw no one who wasn’t touched visibly.
A man next to me said, “I’ve never felt God’s presence like I’m feeling it now.” Tears were streaming down his face.
Believe me, as I read this story, I felt Goosebumps all over my skin. Truly, I craved this intimacy. I felt I hadn’t started praying, I shared this little motivation from a man of prayer we know and relate with so well just so we understand that the hosting of the presence of God lies on the efficacy of the prayers we make.
Alright, I know someone is just going to stop me right on my track to say well this doesn’t really matter to me because I am not a minister of the gospel of God, just a regular Christian who loves the lord
Well if you and I are friends and barely talked for days running into months, how do you think we can continue this friendship? How many times do you speak to someone you are in love with or your best friend? My guess is three to four times a day and still isn’t enough. Well I know for starters that once when I was in a long-distance relationship, how much I just wanted to drive down 16 hours to go see the man I loved
That is the same way we should handle our relationship with God. God is that best friend who sincerely desires that we approach him daily.
The psalmist understands and drives this home when he wrote:
In Psalm 63
O God, you are my God;
Early will I seek you
My soul thirsts for you;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
So I have looked for you in the sanctuary,
And in Psalm 42
As a deer pants after water brooks, so my soul longs for you
So pants my soul for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?
This is what you call thirsting for God-How to host the presence of God
Prayer doesn’t entail that we are necessarily pastors or apostles. We pray to commune and develop intimacy. There is a whole lot we can achieve on our knees. Just imagine the presence of God in your house or place of work. When you start out your wife, husband, children and co-workers are going to notice that you spend time with someone higher and supernatural
Start today to host that presence in your home. It is a conscious step you will never regret. I know quite well that it is possible for me to renounce the Master and forfeit this intimate bond that I value with my entire being. I could, by an act of the will, turn my back on Him and alienate myself from fellowship. But I will never do that. As I have said before, I will rather die than lose His touch.
My goal is to deepen my relationship with God and to grow to a greater dimension of intimacy, to host his presence on the street and in my home.
For, despite the unbelievable experiences I have experienced, I know there is more ahead for us.
Dear friend, I want you to know God has a special touch for your life today. “Now is the time” It can be today and every day of your life if you desire, a day of the reality of the Holy Spirit with you.
Over time I have come to discover the two major keys to hosting the presence of God daily without fail; Prayer and Death. Well, I could just write the only prayer because death takes place in prayer but for want of laid emphasis, I wrote them thus
David declares that his flesh “longs” for God, while his soul “thirsts.” Isaiah, meanwhile, in 26:9, says that with his spirit he will “seek” God. So we have the flesh longing for God, the soul thirsting, and the spiritual seeking.
It is noteworthy that in Moses’ accounts of the Tabernacle we find: the Outer Court, which is symbolic of the flesh; the Holy Place, which is symbolic of the soul; and the Holy of Holies, which is symbolic of the spirit. Longing takes one to the Outer Court; thirsting takes one to the Holy Place; and seeking leads one to the Holy of Holies.
So as we long for God we go into prayer, which is the place where God begins to deal with and crucify the flesh. It is a place of struggle where, as we get on our knees each day, all we can think about at first is our guilt, our failures, our great needs. We repeat ourselves over and over, and God seems a million miles away. Then,We wonder if we’re accomplishing anything. We want to fall asleep, to take a break; anything.
What we don’t immediately realize is that the longer we are on our knees, the less of the flesh remains. Death begins as we are on our knees.
Soon, as God finishes crucifying the flesh, a breakthrough comes, you feel it and suddenly your prayers become real. A river gushes out of your inmost being, and your words become meaningful. The presence of God comes in, and something real happens to you. You may even begin to weep.
That breakthrough may take a half-hour, an hour, maybe longer. It will take as long as needed, depending on where you are with the Lord, what your relationship is with Him. He must deal with the idols and the sins in your heart. Any Isaac in your heart must die (which is what God was determining with Abraham). If you haven’t prayed for a long time, you can’t expect a breakthrough after the first minute or two.
Remember, this is a daily matter. The breakthrough doesn’t come once for all time. “I die daily,” Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:31. There will be a struggle each time we go into this kind of prayer. The presence doesn’t come today because you died twenty years ago. They come today because you died this morning. God does not use leftovers.
Dear friend, learn to host his presence now!
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