Have you ever been sitting and thinking when you realized that you’ve let your faith get stale, that your light has grown dim, that minimal fruit is being produced from your life? If I were to sit down and talk to you, I am almost positive that you would tell me this state of mediocrity didn’t just appear overnight. It’s true, actually. Whenever we fall off the wagon of faith and intimacy with Christ and obedience to Christ, it is seldom an immediate occurrence. That is to say, we can actively live passive, sluggish, lethargic lives that lead to a status of discontentment.
While this conversation could go several ways, I would like to hone in on how prayer and connection with the Holy Spirit directly effect our lives. There are several passages of scripture in the New Testament that talk about how God answers when we pray, how that we must pray, how that our motives must be pleasing to God as we pray. Check out the following scriptures before I continue:
Matthew 7:7-8, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
1 John 5:14-15, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.”
Each of these scriptures provides a pattern of prayer where an exchange takes place after the believer takes the necessary step towards God. The thing about prayer we must always realize is that it is an active dialogue that engages God, not a passive thought process that assumes God knows. Is God all-knowing? Absolutely! Thus, prayer does not magically allow God in on our deepest desires, biggest problems, and most critical petitions. Prayer does, however, compel the believer to be active, to make a confident request of heaven based on who God is!
Have you ever been so focused on not complaining, not worrying, not mumbling, and not becoming overwhelmed so that your life is in agreement with Scripture? I have. While this is good, we can become so focused on NOT doing the negative things that we forget to enact the parts of scripture that bring forth a response from God. Take a look at Philippians 4:6-7. While this passage tells us not to be anxious, it also emphasizes the necessity of prayer–making our requests known to God and thanking Him for his answer. Do you see? There is action that must take place on our end.
Fairly recently God spoke to me about becoming more active in prayer, more intentional with my faith, and more expectant of His answers. I learned from the Holy Spirit that when I am not active in prayer and faith that I am being passive. Notice in the scriptures I listed that the pattern is: (1) person prays with proper motive and according to the Word and (2) God undoubtedly responds. When I am a passive believer, I am passed when “answer time” comes around. I cannot in all sincerity expect an answer when I have not made a request–according to God’s pattern of prayer.
So today, take a moment to ask the Holy Spirit how you can be more instant in prayer and active in faith. Whatever His answer, be willing to obey, let go of old habits, and live in the joy of fellowship and answered prayers! There is nothing that increases faith more than answered prayers and heightened awareness of the Holy Spirit’s presence! Let’s commit to letting go of passivity and grabbing hold of a passionate faith.
Cheers to a sweet prayer life.
P.S. If you would like to help donate to get me into the mission field of Ecuador this summer to help to actively disciple others, please visit gofundme.com/ashleymariegray