09 Aug Know Who Listens and Answers
In our fifth and final post of the “Enrich Your Prayer Life” series, Pastor David Ake emphasizes how prayer is a way to know and experience Who God is.
Know Who Listens and Answers
by David Ake, Associate Pastor of Marriage Ministries
Prayer is such a simple but elegant practice. Part of the inherent beauty is that anyone can talk to God. As I grow and am willing to continue in the conversation, the deep significance of being able to converse and commune with my Heavenly Father becomes more and more profound. From a simple prayer in the morning as I start my day, as I thank God for providing a meal, or the times that I’ve been so overcome by the weight of the world and circumstances that all I can do is breathe, ache, and pray in the depth of my soul, each prayer is just as significant as the one before and treasured by God.
There are three simple postures (both physical and heart) that come from one of my favorite prayers by Paul in Ephesians 3:14–21.
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from Whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. —Ephesians 3:14–21 (NASB)
When I spend time in conversation with God
- I pray towards God—spending time adoring Him and thanking Him for who He is and what He has done.
- I pray for/towards others—forgiving, blessing, and remembering the hearts and needs of others.
- I pray with bended knee/heart—in humility asking for what I need.
Paul’s opening statement in verses 14 and 15 shows the beautiful interplay between our humility before God (a bended knee) but also His receiving of us as our Father: loving, accepting, forgiving, and embracing. His desire is that we would first know and experience Him fully and that our needs would be met second. To me, that is such an encouragement . . . the goal is to know, enjoy, and be embraced by my Savior—and then I will see clearly how my needs and desires are being met.
So, whether I’m getting to spend time in focused prayer for an extended period of time, or just have a quick prayer with God for the friend or need that I just heard about, I know that my prayer is connection with God and resting in His providence and sovereignty.
Prayer Tip: 1 Corinthians 13 is my “go to” passage and the prayer of my heart when feelings (often unreliable) and runaway thoughts attempt to derail me spiritually or emotionally. Love as described here is the center and heartbeat of my life with Christ and in Christ. This passage is therefore my plumb line. It always encourages me to keep “true north” in view regardless of what others may do.
I love the practical wording presented in The Message:
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “Me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
Love never dies
Cheryl Trudell, Ministry Leader of Connecting and Equipping