“It is impossible to know how to live a Christian life apart from a life lived in the presence of God.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 26, 2022
Many people shall come and say,
“Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
To the house of the God of Jacob;
He will teach us His ways,
And we shall walk in His paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth the law,
And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. Isaiah 2:3, NKJV
Far too often, we think of prayer as something we do rather than a space we inhabit. As such, prayer can often feel forced or even laborious, akin to a household chore that we know is for our good, yet is avoided when possible and put off until the last minute. If we embrace this faulty vision of prayer, the content of our prayer lives will also greatly suffer.
It is far too easy to allow our personal needs and concerns to dominate our thoughts and lives, and by extension, the content of our prayers. It is remarkably easy to be self-consumed, thinking only of our own needs or troubles, with little to no thought given of the world around us and our place within this world, not to mention the opportunities we have to bring good and healing into the world and into the lives of others. Instead, our fears of scarcity or sickness dominate and shrink and shrivel our prayer lives in the process.
The first step towards a robust life of prayer is to come out of yourself and move towards the Lord. As Isaiah says, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord.” This is an invitation into a true life of prayer, one that finds its meaning and purpose in the presence of God. As we turn the focus of our lives away from ourselves and go up the mountain, we will encounter the living God and enter into the joy and wonder of knowing him and being known by him.
This is the place of true prayer, the heart abiding in its eternal home. It is a life set fully upon the presence of God, not simply bringing a list of demands or requests, but coming to him to dwell and be recreated in his likeness. It is impossible to know how to live a Christian life apart from a life lived in the presence of God. His commands are understood as good and life giving only when they are intimately connected to a lived encounter of his goodness, mercy, and love. And so, if we long to walk in his ways and learn to live a life of prayer, let us today, like the Prodigal Son, come to our senses, arise, and return to the house of our father.
Father, teach us what it means to live a life of prayer, walking with you and abiding in your presence every moment of every day, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Seek to live today with a greater awareness of the nearness of God and his longing to be with you and guide your every step.
Page CXVI: Abide With Me
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