Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- June 18, 2011
A man of prayer prays. It is his first line of defense and his most effective offensive strategy. Prayer is not an afterthought for a man of prayer; it is not a last ditch engagement with the eternal, but is top of mind. Prayer is not just a demonstration of discipline and determination, but is a desperate dependence on God. It is conversing with Christ and is not just asking God for goodies and guarantees. The man of prayer enters into intimacy with the Almighty. He realizes that God is in control and that His wisdom is needed for life and work. Prayer precludes pain by providing patience. It forecasts disaster by giving warning. It discerns clumsy and destructive decisions by cultivating understanding and discernment.
A man of prayer avoids self-inflicted problems because he prays first. Prayer is medicine for the sick and refreshment for the soul. Prayer may be the best gift you can give someone. You may not have silver and gold to give, but you can give prayer (Acts 3:6). A man of prayer does not talk about praying, with a simple, “I’ll pray for you.” On the contrary, with a seriousness of purpose and responsibility, he stops what he is doing and lifts to heaven the concerns of the one requesting prayer. As you hear him pray, a peace and calm overcome you. It is encouragement from on high. His is not a stale prayer but fresh, because the man of prayer has been in prayer. A man of prayer prays for his spouse and for the spouses of his children. He leads his wife in prayer. He keeps his logical mind in check by checking in with Christ.
Start by getting on your knees for five minutes each morning. Prayerful posture is important to a man of prayer. His stature is humble and dependent. Therefore, humble yourself daily before your heavenly Father. Lay face down on the floor, if necessary. Then get up and consider making a prayer list. However, do not sell yourself short by feeling unqualified to be a man of prayer. This role is not reserved for the super righteous. It is for adulterers, liars, and murderers like David (Psalm 51).
A man of prayer is still a man in recovery from sin. Sin does not cease to hound the man who prays, but it drives him to pray; then sin’s influence is stunted in the face of the man of prayer. It is hard to sin while you pray. There is accountability to God that bolsters the man of prayer in his everyday life.
Indeed, there is a direct correlation between prayer and purposeful living. “Man of Prayer” is not a title that comes with a badge to flaunt. Instead, it is a discreet lifestyle of continual prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17). It becomes a habit of life, like eating and sleeping. Prayer, for a man of prayer, is not an elective. It is a required course. It is core curriculum.
Moreover, the man of prayer cannot be pigeonholed as to his behavior and speech. He comes in all shapes and sizes, depending on his God-given temperament. He is humorous and humble; He is loud and he is quiet; He is spontaneous and he is methodical; He is creative and he is concrete; He is eloquent and he is simple. However, there is one thing he is not: He is neither proud nor arrogant. People are his pleasure and heaven is his home, where he checks in often. Jesus is his “go-to man.” Worship, thanksgiving, praise, and adoration permeate the prayers of a man of prayer. A man of prayer prays.
Taken from the June 15th reading in the 365 day devotional Seeking Daily the Heart of God.
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