Prayer: From Delight to Diligence

humble_14232c

From Delight to Diligence in Prayer

Note: I assembled this little devotional but did not originate a lot of it. Links are at the end to the resources I used.  JD

A few years ago at the Prayer Workshop I spoke on My Elusive Search for a Powerful Prayer Life.  I think maybe “elusive” is a word many people might use when it comes to prayer. It’s more a feeling on our side than it is a lack in God’s eyes … he delights to hear our expressions, even if they are less than adequate by our own measures. Here are six words … requests we can use to seed our prayer life … followed by some ways God answers prayer.

The Path from Delight to Diligence

DELIGHT in You as the greatest treasure of my heart.

Psalm 37:4a  Take delight in the Lord…

If you have a hard time stirring the emotion of delight, ask God to help you. Think about the ways that God has blessed you. Considering your failures and stumbles and His unyielding love for you and unending grace in forgiveness … those things can begin to warm our hearts. When we take delight in the Lord we…

DESIRE

Psalm 37:4b Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Don’t ever be ashamed to express your desires to the Lord. He wants to hear from us and it helps us to express these things to God. Move away from hearings and physical blessings to other desires ….to know God, be with Him, and seek His kingdom above all else. And to ask him to make these things the desires of our hearts.

DISCERNMENT that comes from a renewed mind that I might know your will.

Hebrews 5:14 AMP But solid food is for the [spiritually] mature, whose senses are trained by practice to distinguish between what is morally good and what is evil.

Our “senses” are trained when we keep our souls fed.

“Solid Food” – deeper things, more difficult things, beyond the basics. These help us have discernment to know the will of God… what is good / evil.

DESPERATION because when I stop feeling my need for you I tend to wander.

Psalm 119:67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word.

Psalm 77:1-2 AMP My voice rises to God, and I will cry aloud; My voice rises to God, and He will hear me. In the day of my trouble I [desperately] sought the Lord; In the night my hand was stretched out [in prayer] without weariness; My soul refused to be comforted.

DISCIPLINE to plan for what I discern as your will.

Ephesians 5:15-16 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.

More than just understanding God and seeking Him, what are we doing as a result of what we learn? Discipline is required to use our time wisely – to intentionally serve  as He calls us to. John Maxwell- Most of us have upward dreams but downward habits … we will never drift upwards.

DILIGENCE to do your will with all my heart.

Deuteronomy 6:5  You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

Diligence is ‘not giving up’ … continuing to serve.

How do we know when God is answering our prayers?

DIRECT

God may choose to answer your prayer in a direct manner. You might pray for something and God will grant it just the way you asked Him for it. This type of answer means you were praying in accord with the will of God.

DISGUISED

Sometimes our first inclination toward an answer to prayer is that “this can’t be the answer to my prayer.” We often see this when we look back and realize God answered our prayer in a way we couldn’t conceive at the time.

DELAYED

Many times God will answer a prayer but it will be according to His timing. We may be praying according to His will but He is engineering special circumstances which will benefit us when it is time to claim the answer. The delayed answer teaches us a lesson in patience and trusting God.

DENIED

This is the answer we never want to hear but many times at a later date we find out that it was good that God denied my prayer request. When God denies a request, it is being denied by absolute wisdom, so it is never to our disadvantage, even though we believe it is.

Conclusion

When we feel the need to grow in our prayer life, we will seek to move from Delight to Diligence … realizing that God always answers prayer.

“Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.”  Mother Teresa

Resources:

Praying the 6 “D’s”  By: Jon Bloom 

Prayer

Comments are closed.