This week we’ve looked at two disciplines we often struggle with — prayer and confession. We’ve seen how God intends both of these practices to bring us into freedom and communion with Himself.
Prayer is not so much a formula as it is a state of mindfulness: acknowledging the God-ness of God and our dependence on Him for every little thing in everyday life. Our souls are built for relationship with God—to walk with Him and talk with Him. As Saint Augustine prayed, “Our heart is restless until it rests in you.”
Consider the following statement about prayer:
“He does not ask much of us, merely a thought of Him from time to time, a little act of adoration, sometimes to ask for His grace, sometimes to offer Him your sufferings, at other times to thank Him for the graces, past and present, He has bestowed on you, in the midst of your troubles to take solace in Him as often as you can. Lift up your heart to Him during your meals and in company; the least little remembrance will always be the most pleasing to Him. One need not cry out very loudly; He is nearer to us than we think.”
Today, what would practicing the presence of God look like for you at home, at work, at school, or out in nature? Try talking with God as you would talk to a friend, without an elaborate warm-up or formulaic phrases. Can you feel His presence making each moment sacred? Let God wash dishes with you, take out the trash, prepare a Powerpoint presentation, or go to the market. Talk with Him about the common stuff of life, then listen for His voice. He is nearer to us than we think.
Confession brings life. It restores us to relationship with God and others, and it frees us from the crushing burden of guilt by reminding us that we are forgiven sinners.
Take a few moments today to consider whether sin has broken any of your relationships. Then step on a spiritual scale and see if you are carrying any extra pounds of guilt. Can you feel it? God invites you to talk with Him about those matters, to turn away from hidden sins, and to cast those weights upon Him. He has promised that if we confess our sins He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
The moment we confess, Jesus comes alongside us and our relationship with God is restored. Is there a person to whom you need to confess? Matthew 5:23–24 says we need to deal with relational brokenness before we can expect to walk freely with the Lord. “As far as it depends on you, try to live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18). Confess today and feel the weight drop and your shoulders lift.
prayer and confession together
The disciplines of prayer and confession help us cultivate a relationship with God (prayer) and maintain joyful communion with God (confession). They work together to let us walk and talk with Jesus in daily life, turning the mundane and the difficult into a garden of intimacy with our Lord. Practice these spiritual disciplines to feel the freedom and joy of renewed relationship with your Creator.
What have you learned about prayer and confession this week? Why do you think these disciplines are important to your spiritual life?
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