If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14
Two weeks ago, my husband and I had a discussion during morning worship on what we could do to deepen our spiritual relationship with God. On the previous day, I read an inspirational devotional on the power of prayer. The reminder that our spiritual growth is based on doing our part, I suggested that we begin to pray together every two hours during our waking hours. The first day went very well, but on the subsequent days, we failed to honor our commitment.
It was not intentional that we failed to pray as planned. In fact, at the end of the week, we were unable to identify the obstacles and distractions that redirected our focus from praying. Yes, it is distressing that the most powerful resource we have, prayer, which allows us to freely connect to God; so many of us have great difficulty following the command to “Pray without ceasing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17. Realizing our shortcoming, we prayed for forgiveness for failing to remember to pray, and developed an action plan and set our cellphones to alarm every two hours–while awake.
It is not possible to verbalize prayers continuously; even so, we must always possess an attitude of worship, which is the acknowledgment, reverence, gratitude, and love for God, our Heavenly Father. Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving; Colossians 4:2. With great intent, we are admonished to keep our minds focused on God and His grace and mercies. Living with a spirit of gratitude includes thanking God for every trial and blessing.
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character. Character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5. There is no cookie-cutter approach to obtaining spiritual growth. Our weaknesses and shortcomings differ as our fingerprints differ. It is up to each of us to identify the character traits and worldly pleasures that keep us separated from God.
Since January, the world has been bombarded with the global pandemic that continues with an alarming increase in the rate of Infectious Cases and Deaths. The roller coaster of an economic recession, loss of jobs, the inability to pay debts, heinous crimes, missing children, social injustices, social isolation, the failure to fulfill travel and educational plans, and political unrest have drained our energy and affected our motivation to move forward. Without the desire to strengthen our relationship with God, we cannot possess spiritual power or peace of mind.
The need for prayer is ongoing. Of all the things that we determine are excessive, prayer will never belong in that category. When we purpose in our hearts to have a closer relationship with God by communicating with Him through prayer, we develop a habit that produces victory. Every aspect of our lives improves, peace replaces anxieties and worries, and we gain strength because we have tapped into the only source of spiritual power. The Bible says, “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16
Pray and trust in God. He has great plans for the faithful, and that is to enjoy Eternal life in a New Heaven and New Earth, where peace, love, and joy will exist forever and ever. Amen.
Bible Reading: Romans 8
God, we thank you for the ability to talk to you whenever we are ready. Please give us the wisdom that we need to include you in every aspect of our lives consistently. We ask this prayer in the Worthy Name of Jesus. Amen.
© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the author’s written permission.