Psalm 42:8 NLT Each day the LORD pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life.
God invites us daily to meet with him in prayer. May prayer become our new habit, our “new normal.” When prayer becomes our “new normal” we begin to know and feel the difference between empty and full. We begin to know the difference between thirsty and satisfied. Before we might go a long time without prayer because we didn’t know any better, we didn’t realize we were thirsty, there was no other experience to compare it to. But when prayer is our “new normal” we are aware when we are running on empty. In those moments we recognize our thirst and we pray “to God who gives me life.”
“New normal” also means we now have a genuine relationship with the Lord. God already knows everything about us, but as the Good Father he wants to hear from us because he desires for us to know him and to be with us. God becomes more than just a concept, he is a Person. You can’t talk with a concept but you can talk with a Person. You can meet with a Person. You can listen to a Person. You can learn from a Person.
Prayer: Lord, we answer your daily invitation to pray and grow in relationship with you. You give us life! In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
Let’s worship to “Better is One Day” (click here) by Matt Redman.
Romans 8:26-27 NLT/NIV And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
“How can we be sure that God hears us when we pray by the Spirit ‘with inarticulate groanings’? Precisely because God, who is first of all described in biblical terms as the one who knows the hearts of all (meaning us people) also knows the ‘mind of the Spirit.’”
(Gordon Fee, God’s Empowering Presence)
We don’t know the things of God’s heart, we hardly even know ourselves! But as we come in weakness—in humility, in surrender—the Holy Spirit, who knows the deep things of our hearts and the Deep of God’s heart, comes to help us to pray. Through the Spirit we pray what we so long to pray—Spirit given words that have genuine impact because they connect so perfectly the deep things in our hearts with the Deep of God’s will.
Prayer: Lord, may there be a fresh outpouring of the Spirit in our churches to pray the prayers we so deeply desire and need to pray. Fill us with the longings, cries, and requests that express God’s will for our lives and our churches. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
Psalm 42:4, 7 NIV These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One. Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.
“Soul” refers to our whole being, all of who we are. In the psalmist’s expressions of praise, despair, and even complaint, he doesn’t hold back, filter, or censor. He prays to God as if his life depends on it. He cannot leave this place of prayer without meeting God.
When we pour out our souls to the Lord we are finally opening our lives to him. And when we open our lives to God, he pours into us. That’s what the psalmist experiences. In his deep empty he cries out “my soul thirsts for God” and he comes to the stream expecting a little drink. How does the Lord respond? The Lord responds with the flood of his Deep waters, he pours into us wave after wave of his presence and power.
Prayer: Lord, you already know everything about me – I lay before you my fears, my frustrations, my needs. We open our lives to you and may you pour into us your Spirit. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
Let’s worship to “Holy Spirit” (click here) by Jesus Culture.
Hebrews 10:19-22 NLT And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.
Today as believers we can draw near to God any time, any place because Jesus has made “a new and life giving way” for us to come to him. “Any time, any place” means we don’t need to wait for a special moment or circumstance to pray. Through Christ, now any moment is the right time and right place to meet with him – even in the middle of the day, in the middle of class, in the middle of work.
“Any time, any place” also means we don’t need to do anything “extra.” Sometimes we think—I’m not holy enough, I don’t deserve enough, maybe later when I get right with God. But the truth of God’s Word tells us we are invited to boldly enter into prayer. There’s no need to make an “extra” way because God has already made it possible for us to draw near to him through his blood.
Prayer: Lord, with thankful hearts we answer your invitation to come into your presence today, fully trusting you will meet us. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
Let’s worship to “Here I Bow” (click here) by Brian & Jenn Johnson.
Psalm 42:1-2 NIV As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
“Here it is understood and said very clearly that life depends on God. The body cannot live without water. Its lack, quicker than anything else except breath itself, is felt as desperate desire. The soul cannot survive without God. That is true of every human soul, not just the deeply pious.”
(James Mays, Psalms)
Just as water is life, meeting God in prayer is life. What the psalmist demonstrates for us is that encountering the Lord in prayer is not an option if we are to live fully. Nothing else will do as there is no substitute for the living God.
Today our starting point for prayer isn’t self discipline, duty, or technique. Our starting point is simply responding to the deep thirst for God which exists in each one of us. The reality is we are just like the psalmist who in his deep empty cries out “my soul thirsts for God!” – each of us long to pray because we hunger and thirst to meet with God.
Prayer: Lord, we need you! We recognize in this moment how much our souls thirst for you. You are our source of life. Come and meet with us! In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
Let’s worship to “Lord I Need You” (click here) by Matt Maher.