Thursday, March 16, 2006

Growing Spiritually by Prayer

Neil Wiseman wrote Growing Your Soul to offer “practical steps to increase your spirituality.” Of course, he writes about prayer. Specifically, he reveals ten ways that prayer changes the prayer. It is important to know that by the time you get to this point in the book and chapter, the need for honest, unguarded talking with God is essential for spiritual growth. In other words, prayer won’t have the incredible impact on you that it can if you don’t open up before the God who knows your heart anyway.

Prayer unchains an individual from old habits of feeling, thinking, and acting.
Prayer takes us on a voyage of inner discovery.
Prayer shapes us into Christ likeness.
Prayer requires a wholehearted honesty.
Prayer judges integrity.
Prayer provides a long range perspective of life.
Prayer frees us from self-centeredness.
Prayer motivates action.
Prayer encourages plain talk with God.
Prayer admits absolute dependence.
Pray cultivates friendship with God.

Those things will never happen in prayers prayed in the pulpit, before meals, or in family devotionals. You must spend time in prayer alone with God. If someone else is present, it must be someone with whom you are completely vulnerable, someone with whom you will be totally honest, like your spouse or a very close prayer partner.

Wiseman recommends this exercise for prayer. Finish these lines in the beginning of prayer when you are alone with God:

Father, to make it happen in my inner world,
Free me from _______________________;
Enable me to become _________________;
And tear down every hindrance in my, such as ____________________;
I open my whole life to your will and your promise. Amen

That’s Life at Work!

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