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Prayer Changes Everything

Pray without ceasing.

1 Thessalonians 5:17
Prayer Changes Everything Book Cover

Angela of Foligno, known as the “Mistress of Theologians” in the 1200s, wrote, “Since it is necessary to know the uncreated God and Christ crucified, for otherwise we cannot transform our minds through divine love, we should read diligently in the Book of Life . . . We cannot possibly manage this reading or acquire this knowledge, without . . . constant prayer. . . . We discover God through and in prayer.”1

Reading the Bible isn’t enough. Without God’s guidance, we can twist the words to justify our misactions and harmful behaviors. That’s what happened with the Pharisees. Those men knew Scripture backward and forward, but, neglecting God’s guidance, they ended up with a vulgar idea of God’s kingdom.

When we accompany our reading with prayer, the Holy Spirit uses the Bible to shape, encourage, convict, comfort, and sanctify us. Without his work, our work accomplishes nothing. Bible reading, and the larger work of sanctification, requires nothing less than constant prayer. It’s the secret ingredient. One of the ways prayer can influence our walk with God is by illuminating Scripture as we read it.

Three Types of Prayer

Prayer calls out to God for help and communes with him. Through the centuries, the church has practiced different types of prayer. One is intentional prayer, time set apart to talk to God. For this type of prayer, get on your knees, girl. Who hasn’t fallen asleep praying in bed? Kneeling to pour your heart out to God and seek his will keeps us physically alert and reminds us through this posture of who we are—humbled before him and dependent on him. We cling to our almighty God as we wrestle in prayer and bring him our requests.

A second type of prayer is the constant conversation in our heads. This mental prayer focuses us on God during everyday tasks. We direct every thought, question, and hurt to God and listen for the answering nudge of the Holy Spirit. The more we fill our minds with Scripture, the more the Holy Spirit reminds us of these bits and pieces throughout our lives to guide our responses, emotions, and reasoning. When we feel overwhelmed or frustrated, we can repeat the Lord’s Prayer, which fills our minds with God and calls out to him for help.

A third type of prayer practices the presence of God in our lives.2 This prayer may begin with meditation on a Bible verse or through a prayer such as the Lord’s Prayer and moves to silence as we sit in God’s presence like a child cuddling in her father’s lap. This prayer centers us, reminding us that we are God’s child.

These different types of prayer help to form us into Christ’s image. They guide our understanding of Scripture and make us aware of the Holy Spirit’s voice. Without prayer, the task of sanctification is hopeless. After all, only our creator can reshape us.

 

1 Angela of Foligno, Liber visionum, quoted in Invincible Spirits, compiled by Felicity Leng (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Co., 2006), 95.
2 Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God.

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What has God taught you through prayer recently?

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Comments (14)

He has taught me that He hears me. Even if I might not think He does, He just wants me to know that He hears me. He knows my heart. I have faith that He will not abandon me. Deuteronomy 31:6 tells me that. So even though I might be in a quiet season, I just have to continue to talk to Him; He hears me.

God sees me and my situation and He hears every cry of my heart. He doesn’t always give me what I want, thankfully, especially when I look back in hindsight, however He does give me what I need when I need it in ways I may not have imagined. He’s in control. I can’t even imagine how His heart must be torn apart as He sees what’s going on. When I don’t know what to pray, the Holy Spirit does. His ways are so much better than my ways. He has taught me that while I can’t change on my own that I am not alone I just need to yield and let Him change me from the inside out. Thankfully He is faithful. When I feel distant He’s not the one who moved – it’s me! When I abide with Him and stay near He makes more time for my day when I start with Him first. He guides me to what’s most important and guess what some of the things I wanted to do don’t matter when I consider the impact from an eternal point of view.

We will and do always need prayer to pray for ourselves our family and friends because everybody needs prayer, we live in a fallen world where a lot of bad and negative things can and do sometimes happen the enemy could be closer than we know
Prayer is the important thread that can and will help give the masterpiece the color it needs
1 Thessalonians 5:17

Oh when GOD spoke loudly to me after I prayed and asked Him to please speak to me as HE’D Been silent for weeks! Then he showed me my ongoing anger in the past few weeks towards a brother in Christ! 😳 I felt so rebuked I had been angry and felt I was so much better than this brother! Oh LORD JESUS HELP my wicked heart! I was SOOOOO thankful that HE spoke so clearly to me and I am now in fellowship with my Heavenly Father again! It was so weird to feel like HE was so far from me especially considering I had been sick for 2 weeks not able to eat because of gut problems. Praying and feeling my prayers were hitting the ceiling! It’s awesome when GOD breaks through our wicked hearts! 😍

I pray as often as I can during the day. While I’m doing dishes, or if I hear or see an emergency vehicle passing by. As I am quiet, He will speak to me "I’ve got this"!

God continues to draw me in, creating a hunger for more of Him and more of His Word. As He continues to meet me each day when I seek Him, He proves Himself faithful, always bearing gifts that bring new life to Scripture, new life-application and relevance to where I am in my pursuit of Him. ❤️

God has shown me that he hears me, he sees the big picture, and he’s working everything out for my good and the good of those I love and care about. I just need to trust him and wait on his timing, which is always perfect.

Time to be still and sit in His presence and hear His voice is centering. The Spirit often says I love you my child…..let my love fill you up.

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