Read His Words Before Ours!
Every night, I tucked my children into bed, cuddled them close, sang over them, and prayed for them. It was simple, but it was also rote and rhythmic. My prayerful words were mimicked nearly word-for-word every night. Sometimes, I wasn’t even thinking about the words or the God who said He heard them. I was thinking of dishes and laundry yet undone.
Was there more?
Was this all prayer consisted of?
Were some prayers heard more clearly or acted upon more quickly?
What was prayer, really?
My internal wrestling intensified as, night after night, I kept praying the same words. I tried to change it up, I tried reading books on prayer, I wrote in my journal how I wanted to pray “better” or “deeper,” but I felt so shallow in these waters where giants of the faith had been swimming for centuries. Where did I begin? How does one become a better pray-er?
“Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us…” (2 John 1:3)
As simple as my prayers had been over my children,
the answer to my burning question was even simpler.
“I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, would give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.” (Ephesians 1:17)
The words were an invitation to not only swim the oceans of faith-filled prayers, but to understand the pathway for doing so was to draw up a chair and sit with the God of the universe.
One cannot pray deeply to a God one doesn’t know.
The deeper we know Him, the more we learn to trust Him, and the easier our prayers flow.
Not with artful words of a contriving tongue, but with soul-baring honesty that comes from walking with the One who is closer than our next breath, who Himself causes my heart to beat and reminds my lungs to expand.
To know Him is to love Him.
To love Him is to speak with Him.
To speak with Him is to enter the endlessly beautiful mystery, yet sweetly familiar sea, called prayer.
To this end, we at GT have crafted this Journey Theme of Fervent. It has long been our prayer for you to enter these deep ocean waters of faith-filled prayer, bringing others with you, to know this Jesus. Maybe you’ve beached here before, curiously sitting on its shoreline and allowed the lapping waves to kiss your toes, beckoning you to come and taste its saltiness with fervor. Maybe you’ve long swum with other heroes of the faith in this endless sea, finding treasures too numerous to count along the way, yet hungering to dive deeper and know the Master more.
The beautiful thing?
No matter who you are, or how many times you’ve swam the sea of prayer, there will always be greater depths to uncover because there will always be more to know of our infinite God.
“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 1:2)
I’ve written before of my affinity for small things, and on this quest to know the Lord Jesus in deeper ways, these two words absolutely captivate my attention.
grace & peace
The whole gospel is packed into these beautiful, diminutive words.
Grace for the shallow end of faith, whispering for us to go deeper.
Grace because we will never measure up to His holiness.
Grace because, on our own, knowing the Almighty with depth and intimacy, is absolutely impossible.
Grace to bridge between a Holy God and wretched sinners.
Peace, because in knowing the Almighty, His peaceful embrace hems us in on all sides.
Peace that descends in a rush to cover the unruly parts of our souls, which yearn for Him with words we can’t express.
Peace made ours in abundance because of the grace of His blood.
Peace because He has become the fullness of our lives.
Because of grace, peace thrives.
Grace & Peace.
Turns out there’s nothing rote about these simple vibrant words bursting with the hope of the gospel, which is why the New Testament writers weave them into the fabric of their prayers. Like breathing in and out, these authors prayed fervently for grace and peace to be deeply known, always discovered, and evidently lived out in real life.
Honestly, my bedtime prayers are still simple and brief, but they feel deeper to me now because I have come to better know the One to Whom I’m praying.
I’ve become familiar with the One to Whom I am pointing little hearts.
I’m praying the gospel over them as I teach them to praise, to worship God for Who He is, for the grace He gives, and for the peace in which we dance.
“Peace to the brothers, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all who have undying love for our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 6:23-24)
Come away, Lovelies, and know this Jesus who washes us with His grace.
Be bound up in His peace as you know Him deeper.
Be deeply loved and love Him in return.
And be found swimming in the ocean of endlessly adoring fervent prayer.
I’m going swimming; come with me!
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!