Step-By-Step Prayers Part 1

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I’m so fascinated by the things that are popular and well-known. As children, I’m sure many of us listened to the same songs and did the same silly motions to them. The Hokey Pokey is a good example of this. It is both an incredibly catchy tune (I’m sorry for bringing it up, it’s stuck in my head now too) and a way to teach children large motor skills while also getting the wiggles out. The other beautiful thing about The Hokey Pokey is that it teaches kids how to listen and obey instructions in a much more fun way than I would’ve dreamed up.

While The Hokey Pokey makes it abundantly clear exactly what is expected of you, we don’t always get that level of clarity as we move through life. Thankfully, God is a good Father who gives good gifts to his children. And I like to count clear instructions as one of those good gifts.

God’s loving warning to his people in 2 Chronicles 7:14 is a clear guide for how to pray and process through tough times. I’m so thankful that he doesn’t leave us to figure this stuff out on our own!

“if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)

Humility

What a difficult thing to talk about and an even harder thing to put into practice!

I have to say, in this season, I have been thoroughly reminded of the fact that I don’t have all of the answers. I’m so far from being in control of the world and I don’t have the solutions to the problems we’re currently facing. Yet, that doesn’t always stop me from trying to figure things out on my own first.

But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:

“God opposes the proud
    but shows favor to the humble.”” James 4:6 (NIV)

I will often oscillate between pride and insecurity, which are two sides of the same coin. I will often think that my view of myself is the correct view, regardless of all other opinions. I will go seamlessly thinking that I am the best to thinking that I am the worst, but both are rooted in the same issue: valuing my opinion over God’s. Yet he has called us and empowered us to live a life of humility.

Pride and insecurity are so easy to adopt, but humility requires strength and submission and trust. It’s the acknowledgment of a power greater than us. It’s an understanding of our God-given place in the world. It’s a precious sign of surrender.

What does humility look like in your life?

Prayer

My prayer life has been kind of a roller coaster lately. Some days I’m gung-ho and ready to go. I’m praying with fervor and faith and even though things aren’t very good right now, I’m expectant that they will be someday.

Then there are other days when I’m a lethargic sloth who doesn’t want to utter any words to God. I don’t have the faith or the energy to do so. This whole pandemic/quarantine/shelter in place thing sure is revealing a lot about the state of my heart.

Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:11-12 (NIV)

I’m being reminded in this season that God isn’t impressed by fancy phrases, nor is there a certain word or time count that we need to reach for our prayers to be effective. Sometimes whispering “God I need you” requires herculean faith and I believe that God is pleased in those moments.

What does praying look like in your life?

The order of this verse isn’t by accident. There’s a reason why humility is first in this sequence of four steps: before we can pray, seek his face, or turn away, we must first humble ourselves. This season is an incredible opportunity for humility to win the day. In the midst of immense difficulty, we can pray and cry out to God, casting all of our cares upon him because he cares for us.

This verse is an extension of grace and invitation into his presence. Let’s accept it today!

What does humility practically look like?

How do you incorporate prayer in your day-to-day life?

To go Deeper: What is Humility?, In Desperate Need of an Answer
Check out
A Proverb A Day on Amazon!

8 comments

  1. You did a good job with breaking down the verse in this post, so I am interested to see where you go with this series! I agree that humilty is the first step to seeking God’s will and heart. ♥

    Liked by 1 person

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