Why does God command us to pray if God already has a set Plan for my life?
Paul urges us to “pray without ceasing” 1 Thess. v. 17) Our Lord says: “Take ye heed, watch and pray.” “And what I say unto you, I say unto all” Mark 13:31-37.
Everyone, then, is capable of prayer, and it is our privilege and responsibility of all to engage in it.
Come unto God in prayer. “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich” Rev. 3:18
Come, all ye that are thirsty, and take this water of life freely. Rev.22:17
Do not amuse yourselves by hewing out to yourselves “broken cisterns that can hold no water. Jer. 2:13
Come, hungry, thirsty souls, who find nothing that can satisfy you, and you shall be filled.
Come, poor handicapped and afflicted ones, weighed down with griefs and sorrows, and you shall be comforted.
Come, sick ones, to the great Physician, and do not fear to approach Him because you are so weak and diseased: expose all your diseases to Him, and they shall be healed.
Come, children, to your Father; He will receive you with open arms of love.
Come, wandering and scattered sheep, to your Shepherd. Come, sinners, to your Saviour. Come, ignorant and foolish ones, who believe yourselves incapable of prayer; it is you who are the most fitted for it. Come all without exception; Jesus Christ calls you all.
Let those only refuse to come who have no heart. The invitation is not for them; for we must have a heart in order to love. But who is indeed without heart? Oh, come and give that heart to God, and learn in the place of prayer how to do it! All those who long for prayer are capable of it, who have ordinary grace and the gift of the Holy Spirit, which is freely promised to all who ask it.
Prayer is the key to perfection and of happiness; it is the best way to rid of all addictions and of acquiring all virtues; for the way to become perfect is to live in the presence of God. He tells us this Himself: “Walk before me, and be thou perfect” Gen 17: 1. Prayer alone can bring you into His presence, and keep you there continually.
What we need, then, is an attitude of prayer, in which we can constantly abide, and out of which exterior occupations cannot draw us; a prayer which can be offered alike by princes, kings, judges, magistrates, soldiers, children, artisans, laborers, women, and the sick.
This prayer is not in our minds, but of the heart.
It is not a prayer of thought alone, because our minds are so limited, that while it is occupied with one thing it cannot be thinking of another. But it is the PRAYER OF THE HEART, which cannot be interrupted by the occupations of the mind. Nothing can interrupt the prayer of the heart but unruly affections; and when once we have tasted of the love of God, it is impossible to find our delight in anything but Himself.
Nothing is easier than to have God and to live in Him. He is more truly in us than we are in ourselves. He is more anxious to give Himself to us than we are to possess Him. All that we want is to know the way to seek Him, which is so easy and so natural, that breathing itself is not more so.
I can hear you saying that you imagine yourselves incapable of living like this. God says you may live in prayer and in God as easily and as continuously as you live by the air you breathe.
This article was derived in part from a chapter in A Short Method of Prayer by J. M. B. DE LA MOTHE GUYON which is in the public domain .
Mimi Rothschild (http://www.Mimi-Rothschild.org) is the co-founder of Learning By Grace (http://www.LearningByGrace.org), an international Christian ministry that offers Online HomeSchooling Programs for PreK-12.
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