Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Remembering to Pray

I don't believe my relationship with God is based entirely on my actions nor on His. Like any relationship, we both have to work at it to make it successful. There are a lot of things I can do to build a stronger relationship with the Lord, such as reading the Bible, praying, memorizing Scripture, watching the words I speak, being moderate in the amount and type of media I allow into my life, and many other choices I make each and every day. But none of those would mean anything if God were not also reaching back to me and responding to my efforts to build a relationship with Him. I only have a relationship because He reached out to me before I ever made the effort to reach out to Him.

A strong relationship with God will include Him speaking to me and me listening to Him. If I want to hear the Holy Spirit better, I'm assuming that He is speaking to me and the fault lies in my ability to listen. I assume that is in fact the case because:
  1. I know the Holy Spirit played an active role in the lives and decisions of the first Christians
  2. I know Jesus promised His disciples that He would send the Holy Spirit to help them and He Himself would not leave them or us (John 14:26; Mat 28:20)
  3. I know people personally who are able to hear and respond to the Holy Spirit's direction better than I can
  4. I know from personal experience that I hear the Holy Spirit better today than I was able to in the past; I have no reason to believe I have reached a state of hearing Him perfectly
One of the things I can do to better hear the Lord speaking to me is to pray more often throughout the day (i.e. me speaking to Him and He listening to me). Of course, that requires actually remembering to pray. But this again is where I see God's love and grace shine through in our relationship. I ask Him to remind me to pray, and He does! I can build reminders to pray into my schedule; I can place reminders where I'll come across them throughout the day; yet the most important thing I can do is to ask the Lord to remind me to pray in every situation I encounter that day. Isn't it funny that the answer to praying more is to pray once again? I ask the Lord's help to remember and He always does help me. I ask during my daily prayer time, and I ask again throughout the day whenever I do happen to remember. Out of all the things I do or could do to increase the quantity of prayer in my life, actually asking God to help me is the one key that I find Works best for Me.

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