Despite the devil’s best efforts to make prayer a convoluted mystery, Jesus kicks him to the curb with some wisdom we’d all be well advised to remember. It’s a secret so simple only a child can understand it! #becurious
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One of the things that I am so glad about is that we never, ever become experts in prayer. There is always more to find out, and there is always further to go and deeper in God for us to explore. How amazing is it that we’ve been invited to come boldly before his throne of Grace, discover his helping hand and power in our time of need, which is, by the way, every moment of every day. And we can just enjoy the richness of getting to know the endless, infinite God that we serve, that we love, and that we worship. I found myself more and more just so caught up with a desire to truly worship Him with every ounce and inch and part and breath of my being to be caught up in the worship of the living God. And I want to continue talking about prayer today and upgrading our prayer life and just kind of reel things back into their simplest form and understand that despite the Devil’s best efforts to make prayer some convoluted mystery consigned to a special breed of people, Jesus just kicks him to the curb with some wisdom that we would all be well advised to remember, especially if we think that we are an expert in this area.
Jesus said in Matthew 18:1, and I’m reading from the excellent West West Kenneth West New Testament translation. Jesus said, assuredly, I am saying to you, unless you reverse your present trend of thought and become as little children, in no case shall you enter the Kingdom of heaven. My dear, good friends, Shila Rakambala Korakasa Oh Lord, let’s not get caught up in the present trends of thinking. Yeah, let us remain simple, humble, devoted disciples of the living God. We don’t need to come with clever ideas and clever thoughts and clever ways. God has not made this Christian life complicated. Thank God that even a fool, we are told can walk on the highway of Holiness. If the Lord girds our loins and helps us to walk, he is the one who directs our steps, not us. Thank you, Jesus. And prayer, like any other spiritual discipline, is not rocket science. The reason I feel joy in my heart is that this means that even I can enjoy the wonders, the depth and the richness of prayer. I don’t need to have some certificate on the wall or degrees or letters after my name. You myself whosoever chooses to come can know the wonder of a deep, satisfying, fulfilling, effective, accurate prayer life.
Hallelujah. You know, greatness in God’s eyes doesn’t stack up because of our amazing accomplishments. Actually, it’s quite the opposite. Prayer is humbling, not haughty where we come essentially with empty hands, ready to be filled and perhaps the most proud indication that we are self satisfied and consider our own strength enough for us to fulfill whatever it is God has placed on our plate to accomplish on this planet. Perhaps the proudest indication of self satisfaction and self reliance is prayerlessness. Anyone who feels desperately in need, the poor in spirit. Yeah, those are the ones who pray, not the hyper spiritual ones, not the ones who think they’ve made it or know it all. But honestly, it’s the ones who are very starkly aware of their desperate need for the presence of God and for his direction. There’s so much we can draw from these statements of the Lord that will help us harness the power of prayer with simplicity and humility. But there’s a particular trait here that I want to highlight today that I believe will help us explore more of God’s Grace as we pray. And that trait is curiosity. There is a child like children are curious.
They see something, they hear something, they want to find out more. They are the Masters of asking a million questions, especially in those tiny early years where everything to them is a new discovery. Everything becomes a world to explore. I think we need to have that kind of heart, and I think that that is one of the things, one of the aspects of that Jesus is highlighting here, childlike curiosity in the prayer closet will pay dividends if we just choose to dump that know it all attitude outside the closet door and come in to hungrily seek and learn the ways of God. Our life is transformed. Your life will be transformed simply by adding this ingredient, the ingredient of childlike curiosity. If we jump over to Exodus again, Lee Me draw a few points out from that amazing book I’m encamped together with the Israelites in that book at the moment, having just come out of Egypt, there in the wilderness, just soaking up all of the wonderful miracles that God is working in their midst. And so let’s use that as a frame. If we like this redemptive frame that carries us out of Egypt’s worldly bondage into a promised land of joy filled, effective prayer.
Let’s leave those dry Plains of just saying a bunch of religious words and hitting the ceiling with every petition and actually rise up and come in and go into the heavenly presence of our Father. And there let’s begin to pray. So the first account that I’d like to highlight is Moses stumbling on the burning Bush. There’s something instructive about this occurrence. It says he was right way over on the backside of the desert. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a few backside of the desert seasons in life. You may even be going through one today. But Lee Me assure you, let me encourage you. Even on the backside of the desert, there are some wonderful things waiting to be discovered. The spirit of prayer is a flame that lights our hearts, but we need to acknowledge it and we need to turn aside from the busyness of our everyday life, the Holy Ghost. No one has been assaulted by the Holy Ghost and forced to pray and spend time in God’s presence. He invites us, but we have to accept that invite. Now listen to these words from Exodus chapter 3:2-4.
I’m going to read from the Amplified Bible. The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a Bush. And he looked and behold, the Bush burned with fire, yet was not consumed. And Moses said, okay, here’s the curiosity at work here. I will now turn aside and see this great sight. Why the Bush is not burned. Yeah, he was curious. He saw something out of the ordinary. He sensed that something unusual was taking place and he chose to turn aside and see what was happening, to hear what was happening. The Lord. And when the Lord saw that, he turned aside to see God called to Him. I wonder, like here we see. Curiosity led to this amazing encounter and calling with the living God. I wonder how many times the Lord has had a supernatural flame flicker in the periphery of our eye. Something unusual has taken place, an unusual sense that sometimes the Lord will just simply tug on our heart. Come away with me. Set some time aside, open your Bible, read this passage, whatever it may be. Do we like Moses turn and think, wow, that’s unusual.
I sense something. I feel something. I feel as though God’s tugging on my heart to turn aside from my usual mode of operation, from my usual activities, and come and find out what it is he wants to say or what it is he wants to show me. A hungry heart is a curious heart. It’s a heart ready to turn aside and see what the Lord is doing and saying. And so many people, even believers, pass by so many of the signs that the Lord places in their path. I think too busy to turn aside from their everyday natural lives. They ignore the burning of their heart and continue. I guess if you like their backside desert life uninterrupted. But we want God’s interruptions. Let’s face it, we don’t want to just trapeze through the backside of the desert till Jesus comes back. We want his interruptions. Holy Ghost, we welcome your interruptions. Lord. This life is just a passing breath compared to the opportunity to encounter you and Lord, if you tug on our hearts. Lord, I pray that we would be sensitive to turn aside and see what you are saying in a prayer.
A prayer? You want to build a prayer life? Be ready for your normal to be interrupted, whatever your normal may be. Praying and building a prayer life requires turning aside from the natural affairs of life. It involves a curious questioning hungry to find out more and follow the flame. Yeah, the supernatural voice and nature of God will often break into your days. If you sensitise your heart to his presence, it will become a regular occurrence and expected encounter an ongoing conversation like John Wesley, he described his Salvation experience in a somewhat unremarkable way. If you think of the impact that he had, but he said that he felt that his heart was strangely warmed. How often does the Lord have his burning Bush? If you like strangely warming our heart, do we turn aside to see this great sight? Why the Bush is not consumed? Will the Lord be delighted and happy to see that we choose to turn aside So he can call us and speak with us when that inviting supernatural flame of desire flickers in the periphery of our business? Will curiosity cause us to draw aside? I really hope so. I encourage you so strongly to allow childlike curiosity to be just such an integral part of your prayer life that you would have your heart sensitive to the presence and to the voice of the Holy ghost.
And that when he stirs you when you feel that warming of your heart when you feel his tug to come aside, to turn aside and see and to hear, I pray that your heart would be open to do exactly that. And hey, God bless you today. Let me pray, father, we just thank you that we can come like little children, that we don’t come with all sorts of complex ideas or complicated ways, but we simply come and we say, God, here I am. Lord, speak to my heart today.
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