In his new book, Prayer: The Language of the Spirit, Bert Farias answers some poignant questions about the Christian’s relationship to God as it relates to prayer.
Q. What is your new book on prayer about?
Farias: It is about not restricting prayer to a form, place, or time, but to learn to walk with the Lord daily and pray without ceasing. I wrote this short book to help Christians understand that God doesn’t live in your prayer closet but in you. Cultivating a moment by moment awareness of the Lord in your life is the key to enhancing and enjoying God’s presence.
I want Christians to know that prayer is habitual fellowship with God. You can walk so close to God that you experience heaven on earth.
Q. Is there any one specific thing that you would like the reader to take away from this book?
Farias: Besides what I just mentioned I would admonish Christians not to let the natural world become the enemy of the spiritual world.
One of the greatest hindrances to walking with God is the common habit of dividing our lives into two categories: the natural and the spiritual. Certain activities are associated with the spiritual such as prayer, Bible study, attending church etc. Other activities are associated with the natural such as eating, sleeping, working, and other needs and duties of the body.
We do the natural things reluctantly and apologize to God, claiming that these activities are draining us of spiritual strength. We’re always straining and striving, uneasy, and pushing ourselves to one day be super-spiritual. For many of us this is a big struggle.
We need to understand that Jesus never divided His life into categories. In the presence of God He walked and lived. God accepted Jesus’ total life. He made no distinction between what we call natural and spiritual activities. “I do always those things that please the Father” (John 8:29). Jesus did not have a spiritual life and a natural life. Every act of His life was God’s.
Every act of our lives should be a contribution to the glory of God. “Whether you eat or drink, do all for the glory of God.” All acts are not equal in importance, but God accepts them all. God is everywhere (Ps. 139), and “in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). Even when you’re not thinking of God, He is there.
Q. You said the book deals with why some people find God’s presence so wonderful while others struggle. Can you explain that?
Farias: It is because some Christians have an awareness of God and a spiritual receptivity others do not have. It is those who develop and cultivate that awareness and receptivity that enjoy God’s presence.
Receptivity is by degree. You can have more or less. This receptivity is increased by the exercise of awareness and destroyed by neglect. Being receptive or responsive to God’s presence means your desire is bent toward Him and you are aware of Him.
Jesus died for you and sent the Holy Spirit to live in you so you could be continually aware of His power, help, and guidance.
Most Christians do not seek God’s counsel as if He were real. This lack of reality results in lack of faith, lack of expectation, and lack of direction. It also prevents believers from walking in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Cultivating an awareness of God in you and with you at all times will change that.
Christians need to start paying attention to the Holy Spirit within in and develop a sensitivity to Him.
Q. Are there any other aspects of prayer that the book deals with that you would like the potential reader to know about?
Farias: Yes, it is concerning the image of God. Many believers do not see God correctly, and their perception of themselves in relation to God is twisted. They have a skewed view of God because they don’t know His true character.
The only way you can know God and His true character is through the Scriptures. Many Christians don’t know the Word of God and have little revelation of the love of God. They are always condemning and accusing themselves. They really don’t possess a deep personal knowledge of God as a Father and a friend. If their prayer lives do not have this foundation their efforts to improve their prayer lives and prayer times will be futile, and they will find themselves enduring God instead of enjoying Him. The book deals with all these aspects and provides wisdom to help the believer.
Q. Any final thoughts on the book you’d like to inject to the potential reader?
Farias: I’d like to tell everyone that God longs for your presence more than you long for His.
One day a beloved disciple asked the Lord a question, “What is your greatest heart’s desire, Lord?”
Here is the response He heard, “I enjoy it when My people just like being with Me, for it is then that we enter into true communion and fellowship. This is My great desire; fellowship – to be with My people, that My people would enjoy Me for just being Me. This is true worship.”
How can any believer resist that kind of love and tenderness that rests in the heart of the Lord?
Let that response abide in you and move your heart toward Him like never before.
Bert M. Farias, revivalist and founder of Holy Fire Ministries, is the author of several other books including The Real Spirit of Revival as well as the highly acclaimed My Son, My Son—a beautiful father-son memoir co-written with his son Daniel for the purpose of training up a holy generation. He ministers inter-denominationally and cross-culturally in nations, churches, conferences, crusades, on the streets, and in homes. He and his wife also host The Holy Ghost Forum—a school of the Spirit. Follow him at Bert Farias and Holy Fire Ministries on Facebook or @Bertfarias1 on Twitter.