Saturday, February 28

Ten I's of Prayer 5

5) Instruction

Do we seek the Lord’s presents or His presence? Do we follow after Jesus merely seeking something from Him as the multitudes did? Or do we lean upon His breast as John the beloved did, just to be near Him, to hear His precious heart beat? Or do we sit at His feet as Mary did, just to serve Him in worship by pouring out our thanks and our tears as fragrant oil upon His body?

Much of the time when we pray, we rush into the Throne Room handing God a list of the things we want or think we need. We don’t stay long enough or sit still long enough to listen to what He has to say. God does not have carryout service like a drive-through Taco Bell, and we don’t get to return what we receive if it isn’t prepared and served to us the way we want it or as fast as we like it.

To ready ourselves for the day, we eat, shower, get dressed, brush our teeth, even read the newspaper or watch the news on TV, but then we leave out the most important part of the day: our fellowship with the Lord.

Do you spend time with the Love of your life in the morning? God will not jerk you out of bed in the morning to get you to pray. It’s up to you. Don’t steal the day out of His hands. Give Him time to speak to you. He is the only One Who can make the day go as it should. He waits for you to join Him in that inner holy of holies.

Solomon said, “Through lowering of hands, the house leaks.” (Eccl. 10:18b Masoretic Text) Though he was referring to being physically lazy, this same slackness applies to our spiritual house as well, for if through negligence or idleness we lower our hands from lack of prayer and praise, then, according to definition, the house begins to weep.

If you’ve been reading along in this series, you saw before that God inspired men to write His Word. I used the familiar scripture, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim. 3:16 NKJV)

According to some of the definitions of the key words in this verse, God’s inspired Word is profitable or useful for learning, conviction of sin, correction of error, restoration or bringing to an upright state again, and improvement.

‘Instruction’ means to give or impart knowledge, for training, disciplinary correction, chastening, nurturing, and instruction which aims at the increase of virtue.

If laziness strikes, causing our hands to lower to do all the things listed on our schedules rather than gently nestling the Word in our hands for prayer, what have we gained?
If God’s Word is to bring about the learning of His heart’s desire for us, conviction, correction, restoration, and improvement in our lives, and if we do not read and study it, how will God’s ultimate purpose for our lives be fulfilled?

As I said in my last post, the Word is the divine influence exerted upon the spirit and heart of man for the enhancement of righteousness, as verse 17 adds, “…that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

How can the seed of the Word accomplish a transformation in our lives if there is no planting? How will it furnish us completely, equipping us for every good work, bringing a harvest?

Do you allow time for God to speak to you, to give you instruction for righteousness, to comfort you, to fill you with His presence?

When the swelling of our calendars and our self-sufficiency keep us from spending enough time in the inner recesses of our prayer closet, nothing we claim in God’s Word will be accomplished.

The Still Small Voice has no destination if there is no listening ear. If we do not listen, scripture says, “God has no use for the prayers of the people who won’t listen to Him.” (Prov. 28:9 Msg) Do you blame Him? He says, “Oh, that My people would listen to Me.” (Ps. 81:13a NKJV)

It only costs us our time to listen but it costs us our quality of life not to listen!

Companionship with the Lord with its soul-rest, with its comfort, with its instruction, is too often sacrificed for petition.

May you sit adoringly at His feet to be instructed in His Word.

~~Blessings, Lynn~~
6 Responses
  1. conarnold Says:

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful post, Lynn! We so often fail to actually seek the Lord's presence when we pray, just listing what we want and getting back to our tasks. This is such a great reminder, given in your gentle and beautiful way! This morning, due to bad weather and painful body, I stayed home and listened to a service on the radio. God truly spoke to my heart and spirit during this still, quiet, listening time. Time spent alone with the Lord makes any day worthwhile, no matter what else happens.

  2. You have hit on a subject that is vital but often ignored or let's call it what it is, rebellion by some. God gives instruction so we can get all that He wants to give us. When we do it our way, we loose some of the power and certainly the blessings that would have been ours.

    We are often like children not being want to be instructed by parents. Thanks for a great reminder

  3. Lorrie Says:

    "The Still Small Voice has no destination if there is no listening ear"

    That is soooo good!! I cherish my morning time with the Lord before my day starts. I go out with greater confidence :-)

    Thanks Lynn :-)

  4. Kris Says:

    Such a great series, Lynn. This installment reminded me of Brother Lawrence, who writes, "If I were to be responsible for guiding souls in the right direction, I would urge everyone to be aware of God's constant presence, if for no other reason than because His presence is a delight to our souls and spirits."

    I have a sneaking suspicion, however, that there is a conversation lurking beneath the surface for many believers (and non) that needs to be had and I wonder if this might one of the places to have it.

    It seems that prayer is something that often gets shoved in, what I like to call, the "should" closet. I "should" pray more...I "should" spend time with God etc.

    My question is, why don't we? What keeps us from spending that time...really? I'm talking about the deep down reasons.

    I don't profess to have the answers but I've got a couple of ideas.

    1. When it comes down to it, we don't really think prayer makes a difference or that God is really listening.

    2. We've not resolved hurt or discouragement from "unanswered" or "no" responses to our previous prayers.

    In many regards behavior reveals true belief - even the ones we're not really aware of. If we're saying we're just too busy, is that really what's going on? I'm not so sure. Just some starter thoughts.

    Way to go, Lynn. Keep up the great and important work!

  5. Marja Says:

    Thank you Lynn for another great post full of words of wisdom! Blessings for your faithfulness!

  6. Sheila Deeth Says:

    Costs us time vs costs us life. Beautifully phrased. Thanks.