‘Communication’ With God [v152]

OCTOBER 2011

‘Communication’ With God

If you were among the over 1,000 commuters hurrying through D.C.’s Metro station at “L’Enfant Plaza” on January 12th, 2007, you might have witnessed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity—that you probably passed by.

Amidst the ‘hubbub’—newspaper vendors, shoeshine guys, and lottery booths—one of the world’s greatest classical musicians (whose performances normally earn him $1,000 per minute!), was playing Bach’s most difficult and exquisite violin pieces (Partita No. 2 in D Minor) on a $3.5-million-dollar, 300 year-old Stradivarius—for FREE! [He did receive $32 and some change from passers by].

Only 7 people actually stopped to listen, and most all others rushed by without even giving internationally-acclaimed virtuoso Joshua Bell a second glance—unable to recognize the unbelievable ‘specialness’ that was irrelevant to their hurried agenda. They didn’t realize what they were missing!

[To read more, or see Bell playing:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/04/AR2007040401721.html ]


This is an illustration of how, in the same way, most of us go rushing through life and we PASS BY and MISS that special ‘relationship’ that God wants to build with us!

Last month I talked about “unlimited access” to God, and that He could be “closer than your iPhone”—if we just choose that ‘unlimited minutes, total access, and free activation plan’! So, I thought that I would follow that up with a suggestion on how to start a ‘conversation’ with God, and develop a closer ‘relationship’—it’s done simply with PRAYER.

If we’re honest with ourselves, we all find it difficult to make time for God—our schedule is usually packed out, and fitting ‘one more thing’ into it seems impossible. But the truth is, we always find time for the things we DEEM IMPORTANT!

Just think about your closest friend—how did they become your ‘closest’ friend? Most likely, it has been developing over a long period of time, and there were many, many conversations. Cultivating a ‘close’ relationship with God is no different—many, many ‘conversations’—requiring we set aside time to be ‘alone’ with Him, and experience His awesome ‘presence’.


So, how does one go about doing this? Well, a ‘perfect’ example of this kind of close relationship would be Jesus Christ, God’s own Son. Even though He was Diety Himself, He made prayer a priority. In fact, on one occasion when He had a really big decision to make (choosing His disciples), “He spent the whole night in prayer to God” [Luke 6:12-13]. Time with His Father was not a matter of convenience, but an absolute necessity—that, at times, required ‘sacrifice’.

If Jesus considered communicating with God the Father so essential, shouldn’t we follow His example? I’m thinking so. The Bible also gives us a few ‘reasons’ to converse with God:

– Reveals Himself [Exodus 33:13-23]
– Sustains us through difficulties [Psalm 55:22]
– Strengthens us when weary [Isaiah 40:28-31]
– Gives us understanding [Jeremiah 33:3]
– Fill us with courage [Psalm 138:2-3]
– Builds our faith [Jude 1:20]
– Satisfies us with joy [Psalm 63:1-8]

So, in order for us to ‘hear’ God’s ‘voice’ speaking to our ‘hearts’, we should consider including Bible reading when we pray.

Well, in spite of all of God’s ‘promises’ and how He has said that He will help us, we still have the tendency to let prayer become secondary in our lives. So, what are some of the ‘hindrances’, and how can we overcome them?


First off, as I already mentioned, busyness is probably that biggest hindrance. Our fast-paced culture demands so much of us that we are in ‘danger’ of pursuing urgent and immediate goals, while missing the one thing that is the most essential to our spiritual ‘health’, and ultimately, our enduring ‘success’: intimacy with God! So much of what we do in the ‘here and now’ means nothing in ‘eternity’, but time spent with God now always reaps eternal benefits!

Disinterest is another hindrance, since we generally make time for what we deem ‘important’—and we’re just not ‘interested’ in prayer. It’s probably because God seems like a ‘stranger’, and most of us usually don’t have a lot of interest conversing with a stranger. So, since the Bible reveals who God is, this is a great place to start a ‘friendship’.

Yes, prayer can be ‘frustrating’ sometimes—because it appears as if God isn’t ‘answering’ our requests. Continuing to ask seems fruitless, so we stop. The thing is, if you limited your interactions with your best friend to a ‘request-and-receive’ transaction, they would be your best friend for long! Same goes with God—He wants to build an intimate relationship with you! In addition to this, God is wise and loving—like a caring parent—not to fulfill every one of our requests. He ‘sifts’ our petitions through His perfect ‘will’, and gives us what is best—even if it causes difficulty or disappointment for the time being.

Then, when life is ‘running’ smoothly—with the ’blessings’ flowing—we may be tempted to forget about God, neglecting Him. We may start to think that we can ‘handle’ things ourselves—only seeking God when we find ourselves in difficult situations. But, God created us with one thing in mind—to have us experience a deep fellowship and intimacy with Him. Although God may ‘work’ through trials to get our ‘attention’ and draw us closer to Himself, we should not neglect God during the ‘seasons’ of blessings.


Like anything of true value, an intimate prayer relationship with God must be pursued—it won’t happen accidentally. Your schedule may need to be ‘rearranged’—but the ‘sacrifices’ will be nothing compared to what you will gain! God has promised amazing spiritual ‘riches’ to those who make time with Him a priority in their lives—and He takes great pleasure in ‘meeting’ with you! Won’t you give Him this ‘desire’ of His ‘heart’?

[Excerpts from: Charles F. Stanley; Erin Gieschen; Cameron Lawrence]


[P.S.: If you would like to investigate further about what the Bible has to say about communicating to God through PRAYER, visit the following link:
http://www.thesearchformeaning.net/sfm_pres/sp_q12_d4_1of10.html


Blessings…Mark


LIFE’S DEEP THOUGHTS (v152) for OCTOBER 2011

If you have a ‘neat’ story or some thoughts about an issue or current event that you would like me to try to respond to, I would be glad to give it a try…so, send them to me at: mbesh@comcast.net

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A PRAYER TO BEGIN
Lord, as I embark on this journey of prayer, come and banish from my heart every last trace of self-reliance and captivate my mind with the truth that you are sufficient for my every need, great or small. Transform me by increasing my confidence in you, in all your extravagant forgiveness and mercy, and strengthen my trembling knees in the face of trouble. Cause my loved ones and me to emerge from this season of prayer with a fresh vision of your glory, a new and lasting fearlessness, and a renewed devotion to your purpose, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

[John I. Snyder – “Your 100 Day Prayer”].

*****************************”
Prayer is not merely expressing our present desires. Its purpose is to exercise and train our desires, so that we want what He is getting ready to give us. His gift is very great, and we are small vessels for receiving it. So prayer involves widening our hearts to God.”

[Augustine of Hippo]

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DEEP THOUGHT:

“We stand tallest and strongest on our knees.”

[Charles F. Stanley, on prayer]

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Hope you enjoyed some of these insights—share them with your friends and colleagues—so we can have a larger ‘pool’ to receive from, and more to share with! Also, remember to include your name as the “source,” if some of this wisdom is of your doing—I would like to give credit where credit is due!

“You, God, are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
where there is no water.

I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.
Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.
I cling to you;
your right hand upholds me.”
[Psalm 63:1-8]

Mark

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Disclaimer: All the above jokes & inspirations are obtained from various sources and copyright are used when known. Other than our name and headers, we do not own the copyright to any of the materials sent to this list. We just want to spread the ministry of God’s love and cheerfulness throughout the world.

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