Most of us categorize our lives in segments: home life, work life, leisure life and even prayer life. Years ago God began to show me that I didn’t have to settle for just “having a prayer life.” Instead, I could live a praying life.
What is a praying life? It is a dimension of living in which you experience minute-by-minute the flow of God’s provision.
You are met at every step with the progressive unfolding of His tailor-made plan for your life (see Eph. 2:10). You cease your struggle to find the will of God because the will of God has found you.
Prayer is no longer the means by which you attempt to get God to perform for you. Instead, it becomes the means by which you assimilate His heart and mind.
Living life open to the Spirit—actively and intentionally cooperating with God on an everyday basis—is possible. Jesus showed the way. In fact, He is the way.
Jesus’ disciples had an opportunity to observe the Master’s habits firsthand. These 12 men witnessed the depths of the Man who didn’t just set aside time for prayer. He lived prayer. But one of the disciples still asked Him: “‘Lord, teach us to pray’” (Luke 11:1, NIV).
When Jesus outlined what we now call the Lord’s Prayer, His were not merely a set of words sandwiched between “Our Father” and “Amen.” They were the dynamic of His daily living. The settled peace in which He lived and the power with which He operated both had their roots in Jesus’ ongoing prayer relationship with His Father.
As we examine the Lord’s Prayer in that light, we will learn from Him the secret to living in supernatural power and provision with a soul at rest.
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name (Matt. 6:9). When Jesus responded to the request “‘Lord, teach us to pray,’” He first taught the disciples to acknowledge God’s holiness. Later, as His crucifixion drew near, Jesus continued the praying life. While He struggled with His emotions, He admitted to His disciples, “‘Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? “Father, save Me from this hour”?’” (John 12:27).
Jesus’ true heart’s cry was revealed as He hallowed God’s name. “‘No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name!’” (v. 28).
In His humanity, Jesus longed for an easier way. But His struggle was put to rest as He subjugated His agitated emotions to the purpose of the Father. Because He wanted to see the Father’s name glorified, His emotions did not rule His actions.
As Christ in us molds us into His image, He fashions a heart that desires the Father’s glory. Underneath all our swirling emotions and the pull of our human nature is the Spirit of the Son, sent into our hearts.
We find a settled peace as we surrender to our true heart’s cry: “Whatever path You set me on; whatever flesh pattern must go to the cross; Father, glorify Your name!”
Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matt. 6:10). With these few words, the Prayer Teacher shows us an astounding truth about the role of prayer. Prayer is the conduit that brings the direct, intervening, specific power and provision of God into the circumstances of the earth.
In the hours before His arrest, Jesus endured deep agony over the will of God. “He began to be sorrowful and troubled.” Then He told His disciples, “‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death’” (Matt. 26:37-38).
His agonizing prayer continued throughout the night as His human emotions lined up with God’s plan. “‘My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may Your will be done’” (v. 42).
When the time came for His arrest, Jesus declared, “‘Look, the hour is near, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us go! Here comes My betrayer!’” (vv. 45-46). His soul had found such rest in God’s will that He could meet that which He so dreaded head-on.
Just as it did for Jesus, the praying life gives God access to our hearts and minds, helping us accept the realities of God’s will:
* He is in control. No one else has power over us or our circumstances (see John 19:11).
* His plan has been in place since before the world began (see John 12:27; Acts 2:22-24).
* We can look forward to the results (see Heb. 12:2).
* Our obedience will give God the opportunity to glorify Himself (see John 12:28).
Though we may never come close to Jesus’ experience, the foundation of a praying life brings us the same peace and courage to say, “‘Your will be done’” (Matt. 26:42).
Give us today our daily bread (Matt. 6:11). God could have created us to be self-contained, but instead, He created us with daily physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs. “Meet today’s needs,” Jesus taught us to pray.
I hear the Father whisper: “Jennifer, nothing will come into your life today for which I have not already put provision in place. Just be alert and watchful. Look to Me first; I will point you to the supply.” He takes great pleasure in providing us with everything we require.