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Worship God! Revelation 22:9
What might be the reason that prayer is not for us a greater joy and delight? How can we bring down the power and the blessing on those for whom we pray?
The primary answer is undoubtedly that our experience of the presence of God is too limited. When we pray, we do not seek after His presence with all our hearts. We think mostly of our need, our weakness, our desire, our prayer. We forget that in every prayer God must be first and foremost. To seek Him, to find Him, to linger in His presence, is the approach that gives prayer its inspiration.
How then can you acquire an intimate experience of the presence of God in your communion with Him? The answer is quite simple:
Believe with your whole heart that He offers Himself as the listener. Give God the opportunity to make Himself known to you when you approach Him in prayer. You will never discover this, however, if you do not take time to have genuine fellowship with God. The power of prayer does not lie in the number or earnestness of the words you use, but in a living faith that God Himself accepts both you and your prayer into His loving heart.
It is the goal of thismonth's readings to help you to meet with God every time you pray. Each day you will be given one or more texts, with which you can bow before God in adoration, waiting for Him to lead you into a real experience of their truth and power. Therefore, begin the day with the desire, "My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?" (Psalm 42:2).
God Is Spirit
God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth. John 4:24
When God created Adam and breathed his spirit into him, Adam became a living soul. When Adam disobeyed God, he became a slave of the body and the lusts of the flesh. Utter darkness pervaded his spirit and, thereafter, the spirit of the entire human race.
In the new birth it is the spirit of a person that is renewed. As that newborn life enters into fellowship with God, the spirit-which is our deepest inward part-is that which surrenders to the Spirit of God. As the psalmist says, "You teach me wisdom in the inmost place" (Psalm 51:6). And God Himself declares, "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts" (Jeremiah 31:33).
God is spirit, holy and glorious. He gave us a spirit with one objective: that we might have fellowship with Him. Sin, however, has darkened and all but extinguished this ability. There is no other way whereby it can be restored than by waiting upon the working of the Holy Spirit in stillness before God. He will work in your spirit, in your inner being, a level far deeper than that of your thoughts and emotions, as He teaches you to worship Him in Spirit and in truth.
Jesus explained to the woman at the well in Samaria, "The true worshipers ... worship the Father in spirit and truth. They are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks" (John 4:23-24). In your quiet hour, become still and give yourself completely to the working of the Spirit.
Intercession and Adoration
Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness. Psalm 96:9
The better we know God, the more wonderful becomes our insight into the power of intercession. We begin to understand that it is the great means by which we can take part in the carrying out of God's purpose.
God has entrusted the redemption in Christ to His people to make known and communicate to others. In all of this, intercession is the primary essential element, because it is the way in which we enter into dynamic fellowship with Christ and receive the power of the Spirit for service.
It is quite simple to see why God would have it so: He desires to renew us in His image. And there is no other way to do this than to make His desires and attitudes our own, so that we become more like Him who "always lives to intercede" (Hebrews 7:25).
The more you come to understand the truth, the more you will sense your need to truly experience God's presence in humble adoration. The more time you spend in God's presence, making His thoughts and will your own, the stronger your faith will grow that God will use your prayers in the carrying out of His plan of redemption.
Intercession will lead you to a realization of your need to enter into deeper adoration. Adoration will give new power for intercession. These two matters are inseparable.
The Desire for God
My soul yearns for you in the night. Isaiah 26:9
What is the most worthwhile thing humankind can experience on earth? Nothing less than God Himself!
And what is the first and most important thing to be done each day? It is nothing less than to seek, to know, to love, and to praise God. As glorious as God is, so is the glory that begins to work in the hearts and lives of those who give themselves to live for God.
It is a great step forward in the life of a Christian when he or she truly sees this and regards their daily fellowship with God as the most important aspect of their existence.
Take time and ask yourself whether this is indeed not the most important thing around which your life should revolve-to know God and to love Him with your whole heart. This is what God desires above all else; and it is that which, in answer to your prayer, He will enable you to do.
So begin this and every day of the year with the impassioned prayer of David: "O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you ... in a dry and weary land" (Psalm 63:1).
Repeat these words in reverence and childlike longing until their spirit and power enter your heart. Then wait upon God till you realize how great a blessing it is thus to meet with Him. As you persevere in this, you will learn to expect the presence of God to surround you throughout the day.
My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. Psalm 62:1
Who would dispute the fact that when a human being in his or her insignificance meets with God in His glory, that which God has to say must have infinitely more worth than what that person has to say? And yet we so often fill our quiet times in the presence of God with our own thoughts and needs instead of giving Him time to speak to us. Moreover, our prayers are frequently indefinite and vague. We learn a great lesson when we come to understand that the deliberate quieting of our souls and minds before God is the secret of true adoration.
It is when we bow before God, recognizing His majesty and His holiness, His power and His love, and seek to give Him the honor and the reverence and the worship that are His due, that our hearts awaken to the nearness of God and the working of His power. It is when we bow low in our nothingness and lift up our thoughts to realize His presence as He gives Himself to us in Christ Jesus that we find the greatest possible blessing in prayer.
Do not for a moment think of the time as being lost. Persevere in your adoration, even if at first it seems difficult or fruitless. Be assured, it will lead to real fellowship with God. The assurance that He is listening to you in love and working in you with power will come.
As time goes by, you will become increasingly aware of His presence throughout the day. People will begin to sense that you have been with God. It will make you strong to witness for Him. Someone once said, "No one can influence another for good, beyond the amount that there is of God in him."
The Light of God's Presence
The Lord is my light. Psalm 27:1
Each morning the sun rises and we walk in its light as we joyfully go about our daily work. The light of the sun shines on us all day, whether we are conscious of it or not. Each morning the light of God also shines upon His children.
When there is a shipwreck at night, the crew anxiously watches for the dawn. They sigh, "When will the day break?" This is also how the Christian must wait on God. As the psalmist says, "My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning" (Psalm 130:6). Wait, until you become aware that the light of His countenance and His blessing is resting on you.
It is the heartfelt wish of our Father in heaven that His children remain in His light throughout the day. As much as we need the light of the sun by day, we need the light of God every moment of our lives.
Even when there are clouds, we still have the sun. So the light of God also shines upon His children even in difficult times. As surely as we know that the sun will rise, we can depend on the light of God. Ensure that you receive it in the morning-then you can count on it to remain with you all day long.
Allow yourself time to receive the light of God in your life and you will be able to join the psalmist in saying, "The Lord is my light and my salvation" (Psalm 27:1).
Faith in God
"Have faith in God," Jesus answered. Mark 11:22
As the eye is the organ by which we see the light of day, so faith is the power by which we see the light of God and walk in it.
Humankind was made for God. Our whole being was made in His likeness, formed according to the divine pattern. We are made to seek Him, to find Him, to become like Him, and so reflecting His glory, to be in the fullest sense the place where He lives. And faith is the eye that, turning away from the world and self, looks up to God and sees light.
How often do we try to arouse feelings about God which are actually just vague, shadowy impressions. We do not turn to the real God.
If we but realized it, He reveals Himself in the depth of our being.
Without faith it is impossible to please or know God. During your quiet time, pray to your Father who dwells in the secret place. If you wait upon and adore Him, He will reveal Himself as surely as light cannot do otherwise than shine.
Your one desire must be to take time to be still before God, believing that He longs to make Himself known to you. In faith, allow yourself to think great thoughts concerning the magnitude of God's glory, the power by which He reveals Himself to us, and the depths of the love with which He longs to possess us.
Practicing your faith in this manner will become a habit that enables you to always enjoy God's presence and the experience of His saving power.
Alone with God
Jesus ... withdrew again to a mountain. John 6:15
Humankind needs God. God made us for His own possession, to find our life and happiness in Him alone.
As sinful beings, we have been subject to the desires of the human nature and the world. We have been brought under the power of the visible and temporal. Our restoration in Christ is meant to bring us back into the Father's presence, love, and fellowship. We have been saved to love and delight in the presence of God.
We need to be alone with God. Even Christ Himself, during His time on earth, needed this. He could not live the life of the Son of God here in an earthly form without at times isolating Himself to be alone with the Father. How much more you and I need it!
When Jesus instructed us to enter our inner sanctuary, to shut the door, and spend time alone with the Father, He also promised that God would hear our prayers and answer them.
Alone with God. That is the secret of true prayer-of a living, close intimacy with God, and of power for service. Without time spent alone with the Father, there can be no true, deep conversion, no growing devotedness to God, no powerful equipping from the Holy Spirit, and no continued peace or joy.
It is an inestimable privilege to begin each day in secret prayer. Let it be the one thing you set your heart upon: to seek, find, and meet with God.
Entirely Committed to God
Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. Psalm 73:25
Because God alone is God, and the only one who is truly adorable, He has the right to claim us wholly for Himself. Without an appropriate surrender on our part, He cannot manifest his power.
In the Old Testament we read that God's servants Abraham, Moses, Elijah, and David gave themselves wholly to God, without reservation, so that He could accomplish His plans through them. It is only the fully surrendered heart that can fully trust God for all that He has promised.
Life teaches us that if anyone desires to carry out some big task, he must commit himself to it wholeheartedly. This is very true of the love of a mother for her child: She gives herself entirely to the child she loves. May God Almighty then not claim us completely for Himself? And should we not therefore declare that there is nothing on earth or in heaven that means more to us than He? As fully as God gives Himself to us, so fully does He desire that we give ourselves to Him.
Meditate on these things in your inner sanctuary, alone before God. Ask Him to establish in you that which pleases Him.
Entirely committed to God! What a privilege that is! How wonderful the grace that calls us to it! How blessed the separation from men, and work, and all that might draw us away from God. Totally dedicated to God! How sweet the discovery of all that it means, and all that God gives us with it!
The Knowledge of God
Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. John 17:3
The knowledge of God is essential for the spiritual life. It is life eternal.
Excerpted from Daily in His Presence by Andrew Murray Bruce Wilkinson Copyright © 2004 by Exponential, Inc.. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Posted February 12, 2012
Reviewed by Joy H. for Readers Favorite "Daily in His Presence" is a daily devotional with devotions written for each day of the year, having only the date, not the year, so that you can use it over and over again each year. Each day you read, these devotions will lead you deeper into the presence of God, giving you a more meaningful spiritual life and a closer walk with the Lord. With 365 different devotions, this book covers many topics and issues that will help you in your Christian life. In the preface pages of the book Bruce Wilkerson has included a short bio of the life of the great Servant of God, Andrew Murray. Wilkerson selected the monthly themes from the writings of Mr. Murray in this book, with the chapter introductions written by Mr. Wilkerson. Devotionals are a favorite of mine, and this is one of the best ones I have read. I am honored to review this book with writings by these two great men of God. Being only a page long, each devotion takes only a few minutes to read, and you will finish reading each day with a "Wow I needed that!" These daily devotions are just that detailed and good. Devotionals are also special because when you want to read something on a specific topic you will usually find something about that topic in them. You just can't have too many of them. I highly recommend "Daily in His Presence" by these two great men of God. You may not find another one like it!
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