"For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth." ~ Deuteronomy14:2

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Prayer Secret #1: Your Relationship With God

An excellent series of articles, 10 in total... What better way to cast off into a New Year than by studying the power of prayer? ~ The Albatross Prayer Secret #1: Your Relationship With God This, in my opinion, is the #1 secret for being able to get more of your prayers answered by God the Father. This particular secret is the first step you will need to take before you can really expect to have any kind of major success in your prayer life with God the Father. Here is the Scripture verse that will give us this first major prayer secret:
"IF YOU ABIDE IN ME, AND MY WORDS ABIDE IN YOU, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples." (John 15:7)
Look very, very carefully at this verse to see exactly what Jesus is trying to tell you. He is giving you two powerful pieces of revelation in which to grasp if you want to be able to get God the Father to answer more of your specific prayers. Here are the two main pieces of revelation. 1. Establish a Personal Relationship With God The first part of the first sentence - "If you abide in Me" - is telling you that the very first thing that God is wanting from you in order to be able to properly approach Him for prayer is for you to establish a very strong personal relationship with Him! Jesus is using the word "abide." The word abide means to "continue in a state or place, to endure." What Jesus wants from us is that we be willing to abide in Him, that we be willing to live in Him. Being willing to abide in Jesus means that we have established a very good, intimate, personal relationship with Him. The #1 reason God created the human race was for intimate fellowship. God has this incredible love for us humans, and He wants more than anything else that we approach Him and enter into this one-on-one, intimate, personal relationship with Him.
If you really stop and think about this - what is one of the greatest joys that a person can have this side of heaven? What is the one thing that most humans long for? What is the one thing that will make you cry when you see this portrayed at the movie theatres? It is the longing for a personal, intimate, love relationship with a person of the opposite sex - the longing for a true soul mate. Why? Because that one person, more than any other person, is the one person who can really get to know you. It is the one person who can become your best friend. It is the one person who you can tell anything and everything to.
It is the most unique of all human relationships. Some of you have found this one true love in this life and others of you have not. Those of you who have found this one true love know exactly what I am talking about. Those of you who have not found this one true love know the longing that you have to find this one special person. This same longing that we have to meet this one true soul mate is the same longing that God has for all us. Except with God, this longing for us is much more intense. The fact that God would send down His one and only Son to our earth in the flesh to physically die on a cross in order to bring us back to Himself shows us more than anything else how much He really does love all of us. The best analogy that I can give you on this is the "best friend analogy." God wants to become your best friend - over your soul mate and over any other best friends you may have in this life. He wants to be #1 in your life and He will not settle for anything less. The Bible says that God the Father is a jealous God - a consuming fire. Some Christians believe that if they go to church once a week, sing a few songs in church and pay their tithe, that they are "in relationship" with God. However, God wants more than this. He wants you 7 days of the week - not just one time a week in your church. He wants to be able to freely communicate with you 24/7. He wants you to talk with Him just like you would talk to your best friend. He wants dynamic, free flowing conversation with you on anything you want to personally discuss with Him, no matter how small or trivial it may seem to you. And He then wants you to be open to listening to anything that He may have to say to you.
What happens to some Christians is that they have not established this kind of personal relationship with God, and then when a crisis or emergency presents itself, it is already too late to try to get God to answer their prayer.
Notice that Jesus starts the first sentence out with the word "IF." IF you have established a personal relationship with God, THEN you can approach Him with your prayer requests, and THEN He will answer them. Too many Christians attempt to use God. The only time they ever approach God is when they need something. God thus has no natural desire to answer any prayer request they may have because they have never established any kind of true personal relationship with Him. One of the things that I feel like the Holy Spirit has conveyed to me is that if you really want to be able to get God to answer more of your prayers, you have to create a desire in God to want to answer more of your prayers. And the #1 way that you create a desire in God to get Him to want to answer more of your prayer requests is by establishing a good personal relationship with Him.
The Parent-Child Analogy
The analogy the Holy Spirit gave me to understand all of this was the "Parent-Child Analogy." Imagine you are the parent and you have two small children. The one boy really loves you. He has established a true loving personal relationship with you. He wants to hang out with you. He comes home from school and tells you everything that happened to him that day. He tells you all the little things that may have gone right or wrong during the day. He values your opinion. When he gets older and more mature, all of sudden he wants to hear more about you, your life and your problems. He wants to know more about you, your past, why you do what you do and why you think the way that you do. This child is truly abiding in you, truly living in you. You feel like you and him are "one in spirit." As a result of this close personal relationship, you can read each other minds and thoughts. As you grow older, your personal relationship deepens and keeps getting better and better. Then you have the other child. He could care less about you and your personality. The only time he will ever approach you is when he needs something. He will even go as far as to act like he cares about you, but once he gets what he wants from you, he is back to ignoring you until the next time he needs something from you. As he grows older, you grow farther and farther apart. When he is finally able to leave home on his own, you never hear from him unless he once again needs something from you. He hardly ever calls or comes over.
Now if you are the loving father over these two children, which of the two will you have a strong natural desire to help out when they may need your help on something? You will have no natural desire to help the one who has been using you over all of those years.
However, with the child who has established a true, loving, personal relationship with you, you will bend over backwards to give that child anything and everything that he may need. Why? Because he loves you for you! He doesn't love you for what you can do for him. He loves you for the person that you are and for the friend that you have become for him over all those years. In fact, your love for this loving son will be so great, many of the times you will give him what he will need before he will even ask you for it. Why? Because you are so in tune with him, you will know what he will need sometimes before he will even know what he will need. Then you will want to give it to him before he will even ask you for it because your love for him is so great. You have a very strong, natural desire to want to make him happy - all because of the good personal relationship that he has established with you over all those years. It is the exact same way with God the Father! Establish a true, loving, personal relationship with God the Father and see if your whole life doesn't do a complete 180! Nothing will move God to want to move and work on your behalf as establishing this kind of loving personal relationship with Him will!
However, one word of caution. God cannot be tricked or duped. You cannot try and enter into this kind of personal relationship with God in order to try and get Him to give you all of your wants and desires. Your motives must be pure! You enter into a personal relationship with the Lord because you want to get to know Him personally! You don't enter into this kind of a personal relationship with Him to see how much He can give you. You have to want God for who He is - not for what He can do for you. The Bible tells us to seek the face of God - not His hand.
For those of you who have truly established this kind of personal relationship with God, I'm sure you can testify that this is truly the greatest experience that anyone of us can have this side of heaven - that this one and only true God in the entire universe can actually make direct contact with you, communicate and talk directly with you, and establish a real intimate personal relationship with you. For those of you who have not really established this kind of personal relationship with God, the one thing that I can personally tell you is that there is absolutely nothing to be afraid of. God will handle and relate to you on the level that you are currently operating at with Him. This kind of intimate personal relationship with the Lord is not built up overnight, but over time. God can satisfy and meet the deeper longings of your soul and spirit that no human could ever reach! He can truly give you a perfect, pure, and unconditional love that no other person will be able to give you in this life. He will be able to love you better and deeper than anyone else in your life - including the good natural love that you can get from your parents, your children, your marriage mates and some of your better friends.
You can totally trust God because He is completely and totally perfect in all of His ways. He will not hurt you or harm you in any way. God has no dark side to His personality, so He is completely trustworthy. He is totally incapable of hurting you in any way. Some Christians are afraid to go deeper with God in their own personal relationship with Him because they have been terribly hurt in other relationships - whether it be from their parents, their lovers or some of their friends.
All humans are imperfect and are thus not capable of giving you any kind of perfect true love. Since God is completely and totally perfect in His very nature and in all of His ways - then He, and only He, is the only One that can give you that perfect, pure, true and unconditional love that you are really looking for in this life.
2. The Bible
Now we come to the second secret that is in the above verse. Note the second part of the first sentence then says, "My words abide in you." I believe Jesus is telling us two things in this sentence. His "Words" are literally meaning His Words. If you have established a good, loving, personal relationship with God, then He will talk to you just like you will talk to Him. And if He is talking to you, then His words will be abiding in you! This will be as a direct result of the free flowing dialogue that you will have with God as a result of having had established a close personal relationship with Him. The other meaning to His words abiding in you is that He is referring to the Bible. If you really want to enter into a close personal relationship with God, then you have to be willing to spend some type of regular quality time in the Bible. The Bible is the only true source that we have down here on this earth where we can really learn all about God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. When you first enter into a true personal love relationship with someone, the first natural desire you will have is that you will want to get to know everything you can about this person. You will want to know about all of their likes, their dislikes, where they have come from and what they have been through. And the only way that you can find all of this out about them is by asking a lot of questions. With God, the #1 way that you will learn about Him is to read the Bible, because the Bible will tell you everything that you will need to know about Him, His Son Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit. You have to seek after knowledge about the Lord - and the Bible is the #1 main source that we have on this earth that can teach us about God and all of His ways.
Bottom Line
To summarize the revelation in the above Scripture verse in one bottom line statement:
God is looking to establish a one-on-one, intimate, personal love relationship with each one of us. This is done in two ways: 1. By establishing a direct, free-flowing and spontaneous best friend relationship with God where you commune and talk with Him on a regular and frequent basis in the exact same way that you would with a best friend. 2. And by seeking after the knowledge of God - trying to get to know all you can about Him by studying and meditating on what is written in the Holy Bible.
I guarantee you that if you are willing to enter into both of these realms with the Lord, your life will never be the same again. This close, intimate, personal relationship that you can enter into with the Lord will be the door opener that will change the course of your entire life. The journey is there for all who are willing to step into it!

Michael Bradley Bible Teaching, Commentary, and Over 150 Free Articles

Scripture taken from New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Copyright © 2005-2006 by Michael Bradley.

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