If my relationship with Jesus is as important as I say it is, I imagine a moment of prayer in which I sit with Him to discuss our relationship.
How do you address God in prayer? Is it personal or is it stale and rehearsed? Unless I find the right name to address God by, I have to question from the get go how free or real my connection with Him might be. If I can only address God on general terms, I cannot find a personal connection. If I have to put the word "the" before the term I use to address God, it is only an anonymous prayer. It is general and not personal.
There are moments you read through the Psalms and other spiritual writers to find a bursting prayer connection, and it most often comes from the address of God at the get go. Anthony Bloom says these moments "burst out with something which has the quality of a nickname, something which no one else could possibly say...which is made possible only because there is a relationship."
The Psalmist comes right out and says, "You are my Joy." Not that God is joy (which he is). Not that God is the Almighty (which He is). Our prayer becomes personal when we are not only stating facts about God, but when we come out of the gate personally addressing God with relational terms.
You are my God. You are my joy. You are my refuge. You are my greatest good...
Psalm 55:2 says "I am restless in my complaint and I must moan." Sometimes our heart needs the release of complaint and moaning before God. Verse 6 says "oh that I had wings like a dove I would fly away and be at rest" (think Forrest Gump's Jenny). There are moments in life we wish we could just fly away from, but those are moments we need honest prayer that gets us to verse 16; something lets call an "as for me" moment.
It is good for us to moan complain and sigh in these times, but we must come around to an as for me moment where we call on God knowing he will hear when we cast our burden upon The Lord He will sustain us.
Jesus, I need you. My heart is deflated inside itself. I want to make your name known to others, and I fear I have not done so well with this. My heart and spirit are faint within me right now. (Ps. 142) I do not want to miss the opportunities you have for me to spread your word and your name to the students I have in my life, but I have been discouraged lately. You know the cry of my heart. You know the discouragement I am up against.
I also know I have not been abiding in you much lately. I realize that without being near to you, I am never going to see fruit in my life or ministry. (Jn.15) If I am not abiding in you, I will not see fruit in the ministry you have placed before me to lead. If the ministry itself is not abiding in you, it will never see fruit.
If you, your leaders, and your ministry are not abiding in Christ, you will not see ministry fruit.
My Lord, help me abide. Please hear my prayer from a deflated heart that needs you so much. Only you are our vine. Only you can produce the fruit in my life and ministry, but that is only going to happen if I abide in you. If my leaders abide in you! If the ministry begins to abide in you.
You are a refuge. You are Inspiration. You are Counselor. You are Teacher.
Teach me, lead me, and move me. Teach us, lead us, move us.