No building can be stronger than the foundation upon which it is built. The same is true of our prayer life and relationship with God. If you are to experience a powerful prayer life, you must first establish a solid prayer foundation.
Foundation 1: Prayer time must be viewed as the essence of our relationship with God and not merely some duty or ritual. We must view prayer as a daily love relationship. From God’s perspective, prayer is the expression of that which He desires most—your commitment to spend meaningful time in a personal relationship of love, surrender and trust. (See Learning to View Prayer From God’s Perspective)
“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’”(Matthew 22:37)
“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” ( Luke 10:38-43)
This story of Mary and Martha contains a truth of enormous importance! We need to spend much time with God before we attempt work for God. Jesus is clearly saying that our first priority is to spend much time with Him. It is this love relationship that He desires far above all the serving and tithing in the world. “Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud:“This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!” (Mark 9:7)
This genuine love relationship must be two-way, requiring talking and listening. It requires far more than merely bringing our lists of wants and desires to God. Sacrifice and service are meaningless if they do not proceed from a genuine love relationship. “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)
Prayer is the primary way we
- Express our praise and worship
- Experience cleansing, repentance and santification
- Share needs and desires
- Intercede and perform ministry
- Hear God through meditative listening.
Is your prayer time a chore or legalistic requirement or is it a relationship with God?
Also see Building a Strong Foundation Part 2