Wednesday, January 6, 2016
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Jenny's only two years old, but she's already teaching her parents. She often announces, "Let's pray." She doesn't always pick her times real well. Dad might be studying or Mom might be involved in her housework or trying to get ready for something. That doesn't stop Jenny from saying, "Let's pray." She grabs your hand, closes her eyes and she expects you to do the same. She's fully expecting Mom or Dad to drop whatever they're doing. Mom told me, "I don't dare tell Jenny, ‘Oh, later honey, I'm too busy now.'" Jenny's only two, but you know what? I think she's got the right idea.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Prayer - Compartment or Lifestyle?"
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Ephesians 6:18. At the end of a passage on spiritual warfare and defeating our enemy, it says, "Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests." I would call this like prayer unleashed. It's prayer all day. It's where 1 Thessalonians 5 talks about "praying without ceasing." It's staying in contact with the Lord; "All occasions, all kinds of prayers, and all kinds of requests."
See, we tend to have a prayer compartment in our life. We pray in the morning, or maybe in the evening, or over meals. We have prayer meetings. But I think God wants us to take prayer out of that compartment and learn prayer as a lifestyle, not just as an occasional binge. Little Jenny understands that. She's all day long going, "Let's pray. Let's talk to God."
The Spirit may be trying to prompt you in that way many times. It's not a little child. It's the Holy Spirit that's saying, "Let's pray. Let's pray." He's trying to initiate it. Pray in the Spirit. But we're so busy! We're running on our list, our schedule, our program, our agenda. We can't hear His promptings.
In the Old Testament, Nehemiah, one of the great spiritual leaders accomplished so much for the Lord. He was sort of a grownup Jenny. It talks about it in chapter 2, verse 4 when he was in a very important meeting. He says, "I prayed to the God of heaven and I answered the king." Right there he's in that meeting with the King. He's under heavy pressure. He says, "I prayed to the God of heaven."
In chapter 4, verse 9, he says, "I prayed to the God of heaven and I posted a guard." Chapter 5, verse 19 - Nehemiah's thinking about his income and what he ought to be getting. He says, "Remember me with favor O my God." He prays again. He gets discouraging news in chapter 6, verse 9. He says, "I prayed. Now strengthen my hands." All through his life; it's just part of the weave of a day. It's a lifestyle; checking in with God - talking to God about it.
God doesn't hear from me nearly enough, maybe you, too. It doesn't mean you have to stop everything, bow your head, close your eyes, drop to your knees. It could be prayer on the run. But it's consciously going into the throne room of God to say, "I love you." Just fire that up to Him. "Nice work, Lord. I love what you just did there." "Help!" "What should I say right now?" "Give me strength, Lord." See that's what the Bible calls "abiding in Christ." I haven't got this mastered, but I'm getting it more and more. And it's awesome! "Pray in the Spirit on all occasions, with all kinds of prayers and requests."
Jesus might call this faith as a little child. Remember? Maybe like Jenny; a faith that lets prayer get out of its compartment and into your all day every day. There's that voice. It's the voice of God inside saying, "Let's pray." I hope you'll hear it often and respond...and never get enough of it.