Our connection with God is never lost, but it can become corrupted. Keep those lines of communication open!
3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.
How much we’re willing to trust God depends on how much we are willing to talk to Him. As much as God likes for us to read His Word and do His will, He prefers for us to be in contact with Him all the time. In fact, in order for us to correctly interpret what we read, we need Him to tell us how to interpret it. Also, in order for us to please Him in what we do, we need to do it WITH Him. He doesn’t need for us to do anything FOR Him.
Ephesians 6:18 tells us to pray always. Here it is in a few versions:
ESV- praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,
NIV- And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
AMPC- Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people).
CJB- as you pray at all times, with all kinds of prayers and requests, in the Spirit, vigilantly and persistently, for all God’s people.
NLT- Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
MSG- In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.
As we can see, our connection with the Spirit is vital, and our connection with each other is maintained through prayer. One way to see prayer is as a conduit between us and God, and us and each other. The Spirit flows from God to us, and then from us to one another. How clean the pipes are and how open they are depends upon us. The Spirit is ALWAYS flowing–we just tend to allow our pipes to become corroded, or we neglect to open the valves.
The other reason for praying for each other is to take our eyes off of ourselves. Intercessory prayer is a selfless act. It pleases God. Our Savior set the example, and we follow it via His Spirit.
9 “I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. 11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.”
20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message [us!], 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” John 17:9-11, 20-23
The best way to evangelize is through prayer. As we pray, the LORD will instruct us on where to go and when, who to see, and what to say and do. Often, God uses us through or prayers to open doors so that others can witness boldly. It’s all according to His Plan. Only He knows, so we ask. Our faith is in believing that He is working in and through us, and, as we see His Plan working, our faith grows.
Let’s water those seeds and stretch those muscles in prayer today. May we ask the LORD to speak to our hearts and to make His presence and will known to us today.
Abba, You speak to us constantly. We have only to turn our attention to You and listen to what You say. I know that my level of comprehension goes up as I read Your Word. It’s like a vocabulary book for interpreting what You are saying. It gives me context and background for what You will and won’t ask or do. In fact, Your Spirit uses the very words I read to speak to my heart! May my “face” be turned toward You all the time, and when I feel myself turning away to look at something else, remind me, O LORD, to turn back to You (the very definition of repentance). I love the words to the old hymn, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.” May I keep my eyes fixed on You, LORD. Amen.