Absent To Be Present!
A friend (Archie Ferguson) made the statement a week or so ago comparing his individual prayer time to his corporate prayer time with God. I can’t remember his exact wording, but his bottom line is, when he meets with Jesus individually, only he and Jesus are present. No other person can enter that space, it’s his time to stand with the Lord and build on their relationship. Days after hearing Archie’s words God still had this subject on my mind, He wouldn’t allow me to unhear it. A few days later I attended a different meeting where the subject came up, then again at a men’s conference that weekend. So, I finally asked God what are you up to and I felt Him say Sunday’s Monday.
That Sunday afternoon I started looking at the ways my personal, private, one on one, alone time with Jesus compared with corporate prayer. My first thought was, I need to be absent from all distractions to be totally present with my Lord. For me, this is where the true metamorphosis takes place! This is where I will come to know and love Jesus intimately! To this, I can only speak for myself, but it is during my private time with Jesus that I am growing into His peace, that I’m learning who I am in Him, as He validates my worth and most of all “He is always there.” I purposely choose to remember my life before Jesus stepped in comparing in amazement of how God has changed me. But The Great News Is, He’s not finished! My life has changed so drastically, that you just had to know me before, to see the miracle that’s taking place. I refer you to Psalm 143:5 (NIV), I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done.
It seems many believers have lost the ability to differentiate public from individual prayer time. It appears some forget that public prayer is more for worship as it encompasses all in attendance where as individual (personal) prayer is for building a personal loving relationship with Jesus. Private prayer and praise builds passion, it’s where one becomes transformed from believing in, to loving Jesus. I recently read this quote, “If God doesn’t want something for me, I shouldn’t want it either. Spending time in meditative prayer, getting to know God, helps align my desires with God’s.” Phillips Brooks. God inspires us in Psalm 143:8 (NIV), Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. And His created get there through Matthew 14:23 (NIV), After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, The bible records Jesus spending a tremendous amount of personal meditative time in prayer with God.
Here’s the wake-up call, Meditate in dictionary.com reads; to engage in thought or contemplation; reflect: to engage in transcendental meditation, devout religious contemplation, or quiescent spiritual introspection. If I were to break this down in my terms, I start my prayer with worship, then praise and then conversation (petitions, questions, etc.) finally I close my part with “what do you desire of me today, Lord” followed by ample time dedicated to hearing from Jesus. How simple is that? As is written in Psalm 46:10 (NIV), He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” As my friend stated, only two are welcome in personal prayer time (Jesus and I)! We all need a place sanctified by God to shut out the wiles of the world. A place where all my unholy traits can be placed on the alter, as my earthly fears and doubts are destroyed through the very presence of Jesus. A precious place where I become everything my Father desires me to be! Knowing, He created this holy place to bring He and I in one accord.
I ask God to instill the importance in understanding the need for Time with Him as written in Psalm 145:18 (NIV), The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. May we find that passion to desire to know your heart and love you more. Help each of us to understand the joy in your presence. Thank you, Lord for loving us. Amen
HAVE A BLESSED WEEK BY BEING A BLESSING TO OTHERS!
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