"What do you know that we do not know?
What do you understand that we do not?"
When I think honestly about my prayers, I think of all the warm, deep, and intense prayers I can give in the concerns which matter the most to me. When it comes to those things, my heart is open, and all of my center is engaged. Does that mean that God is my priority? Nope! It only means that what I am praying about matters to me.
When I make my passionate, deep, and intense prayers about things I really care about, I move right on to the next thing, and that thing does not matter as much. Suddenly, my prayer goes cold and routine. Has God changed? Of course not. Has he grown cold and routine? Clearly not!
It only means that all my passion and intensity was not because of God's presence and closeness to me. It had nothing to do with my faith or longing for Him and Him alone. It was only about my concerns, not for God.
More and more, I am reminded that prayer is my relationship with God. It is not an element or part of my relationship. It is the largest challenge to my heart right now. I need prayer to be a much larger priority than it is.
Prayer is when my heart, mind, and soul are all focused on God instead of all the things of life I do not control anyway. Because of that focus, prayer is when I truly know and love God. Prayer is when I can be close to God, my Abba and my Lord. Prayer is when and where I can be the beloved one of God.
I realize when I choose to make little time for prayer, I am saying to God I am not truly committed to this relationship. I also realize every life that is greatly used by God throughout all of history and present have a common denominator of a dynamic, fervent, prayer life, and I really want my life to be used greatly by God to bring Him glory and bring more people to know His love and His hope.
Satan fears the power of a praying person (2 Cor. 10:3-5, 7; Eph. 6:10-17), but my flesh is weak and resists the fervent discipline (Matt. 26:40-41; Rom. 7:14-18). There is power in a fervent daily prayer life that is very different from our world's idea of power.
My God, my Abba, help me make our relationship the greatest priority in my life. Help my heart, mind, and soul paint a stark picture of how absolutely ridiculous it is to pursue anything else more. Help me place nothing, even good things, above you and our relationship. Fill me with desire to be devoted to prayer. Help me entangle with you so that Jesus may live His life through me all the more each day. Grant me a hunger for you. I do not want to neglect our relationship. I need it so desperately.
"If you asked a man who is poor in spirit to describe his prayer life, he might well answer, 'Most of the time my prayer consists in experiencing the absence of God in the hope of communion.'" - Brennan Manning
Brennan adds another dimension to our desired connection with God through successful prayer: the hope of communion. The man who is truly poor in spirit is there because he continues searching after and coming before God regardless of whether he experiences or FEELS connection with God each time. He keeps coming back because he has HOPE. He has a hope for communion. We cannot allow ourselves to be thwarted by the experience of absence when we approach God. I believe it will happen more often than not. On the other hand, as one who truly longs for God through it all, I have to continually go back to God with the HOPE of communion, and I must maintain that hope every time I approach the throne and lap of God the Abba.
Psalm 27:4 says,
"One thing I ask of the Lord this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple."
Matthew 5:3 says,
"Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."