One-On-One with God

This week, embrace the invitation God gives us to enjoy a friendship with Him as we pray.

Monday – Matthew 23.37. Ponder this thought offered by Dennis Kinlaw: “You can be as close to God as you want to be. If Jesus gave his life for humanity, then there is only one legitimate response to him–to give yourself to him like a bride to a bridegroom. Then the Lord Jesus becomes the very Source of your life and your most precious treasure. It is this level of intimacy with him for which human persons were made. Are you as close to the Lord Jesus as he wants to be to you?” Prayer is his invitation that opens that door.

Tuesday – Romans 8.31-34. “Jesus completely finished the work of reconciliation, but that does not mean he is up in heaven taking a long nap. One of the most beautiful parts of the theology of the ascension is that Jesus is now praying for us. He is praying that you and I would be completely new people, people in whom he can make his home!” (James Bryan Smith in Hidden in Christ) Prayer focus: If Jesus is praying for your transformation to become more like him, in what aspect of your life does he know that you need his help?

Wednesday – Philippians 4.4-7. “The certainty of the provision of God’s kingdom led Paul to write these words. He echoes Jesus’ words in Matthew 6. Do not worry. Instead, we can pray. God has instituted prayer as one of his means of caring for us. We are invited to turn our cares into prayers. We are invited to put the matter in God’s hands. This does not take away our responsibility in dealing with our concerns, but it places the concerns in the larger context of the kingdom of God.” (James Bryan Smith, The Good and Beautiful Life) Are there cares that you can turn into prayers?

Thursday – Psalms 37.1-9. “Once we have done all we can do in a given situation, we simply turn the matter over to God and thus prevent worry from taking over. Here are some practical guidelines for turning your cares into prayers this week. 1. Set aside 10 to 15 minutes. 2. Think about all of the things you might be anxious about. 3. Write them down. 4. Ask what you can do to remedy each situation. 5. Make a note to do the things you can do. 6. Turn everything else over to God.” (James Bryan Smith, The Good and Beautiful Life)

Friday – Acts 17.25-28. Paul was preaching to Athenians, a people who had lots of gods. Paul is introducing them to the God who both knows and cares, telling them that “God is not far from each one of us.” Do you sometimes feel that God is far from you? When have you felt the closest to God? “If the value of our prayer life depended upon us maintaining a constant high level of feeling or understanding, we’d be in a dangerous place. ‘Feelings’ can fail us, but the ‘will’ that trusts in the goodness of God sustains us. Even when our heart is cold and our mind is dim, prayer is still possible to us.” (Evelyn Underhill, What Do We Mean by Prayer?)

Saturday – John 15.12-17. Friendship with Jesus is an astounding thought, isn’t it? Should this fact impact our eagerness to talk with God? Mother Teresa echoed Jesus’ words when she said, “For prayer is nothing else than being on terms of friendship with God.” Let yourself be conscious that you’re in the presence of God throughout this day. Talk with him, friend to Friend.