Today is Day 7 of Pete Greig's 'how to pray' ( a 21-day plan by Bible.com). Read highlights from the book at the end below.
Awake My Soul
The verse that says "Awake my soul" has fallen fresh on me today. It wasn't part of the day's Scripture reading but it (Psalm 51:8) just resonated with me.
My passion for worship (which includes prayer) isn't always strong and committed. I can be all fired-up but I can also be indifferent at times, especially when I'm pre-occupied and when I'm spent physically or mentally.
In those times of waning, I need to intentionally wake my soul and stir the passion in me. Not 'waiting until I feel like it' but, each day, just prompt myself to start thinking about my God and just start with the praise and thanks. This awareness and regard for God will always captivate and steer my heart back to Him.
A song comes to mind. Hillsong lays moving music to this Scripture in, "Awake My Soul"
Fearing God brings wisdom
Psalm 111:10a: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
Wisdom is experience added to knowledge. A wise person is able to incorporate (or apply) knowledge and experience in his life, with good reason or judgment.
When we fear God, wisdom comes. It's harder to put it into words and explain. But, it's just so simple to grasp once you launch out and do it. Believers from the Old to the New testament speak of the need to fear God.
Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived. He was the richest man, too, in his lifetime. He had all he could want, did all he could and wanted. He was rich in knowledge and experience, and material things.
He ends and summates his book (Ecclesiastes) by saying:
"Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole of man."
Great men and women of faith have been learning it, time and time again. And, so will you and I. That my life will only make sense, purpose, and direction, when I live it in reverence and submission to God.
Obeying God brings insight
Psalm 111:10b: 'All who follow His instructions have good insight.'
Insight is 'accurate and deep intuitive understanding' of someone or something. The Christian gains good insight as he lives in obedience to God, to His Word.
The Bible declares His mind to those who seek Him. A Wealth of knowledge, principles, commands, instructions, etc. It's all there. The child of God only needs to open its pages and live in accordance to what he's learning from it.
As we daily live in obedience to His Word, we get a better sense of things. We gain insight. We see the wisdom in all of God's guidelines. From experience, we understand that living in the light of His Word is the most sensible way to go about my life.
Highlights from the book
- Intimacy with our Father and reverential awe of His holiness are both important in our worship and prayer lives.
- many people struggle with prayer simply because they doubt that God likes them.
- But there are probably just as many of us who fail to fully grasp his holiness. We have a notion of divine love devoid of divine sovereignty. Unwittingly we have unhallowed the Father’s name. And in losing the Godness of God we struggle with prayer because we fail to grasp the mind-blowing privilege of simply being in the presence of the living God. Familiarity breeds apathy until we can barely be bothered to try.
- Six suggestions:
- 1. Awake your soul. Make it an act of the will. Instead of waiting until we feel like it, begin to thank God for the evidence of his goodness in our lives.
- 2. Pray the Psalms. This helps realign our priorities and perspectives and shape our worship as we pray alongside others who have prayed the Psalms over the centuries.
- 3. Worship with music, which can powerfully stir our souls.
- 4. Worship with others. It is crucial to have active participation in a local worshipping community.
- 5. You can pray set prayers written by someone you trust.
- 6. Worship is to be spontaneous, creative and ourselves, offering something unique to the Lord.
photo credit to mleonascimento0