How to Know God Through Prayer. There’s a type of prayer that brings our independence to the cross and brings us into a deep knowing of God.
Our devotional prayer times develop a depth to know God through prayer when we approach them selflessly.
Reese Howells and Smith Wigglesworth both had testimonies of simply walking near someone and people sensing a holy presence of God and even being convicted of sin around them. What did they find in God?
I believe a place of ever deeper abiding is the path God calls all of us to. It is about a place of ever deeper surrender to the greatest love and fulfillment we were created to live in. In this hour of ever increasing world turmoil the depths of God will be ever more available and it will not just be a select few finding this place.
Sin, Independence, and Surrender
Rom.3:19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
What is sin and law? I believe at its core it is independence, the self-life. Adam and Eve ate from the wrong tree to know good and evil so they could be as gods and judge for themselves what is right and wrong. They wanted to be in control (independence) and to live their own lives.
Romans 4:14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect.
The Jews thought they could be righteous by keeping law, being circumcised, keeping the Sabbath holy, not touching the leper, etc. It was an outward expression of what all of us actually do in one way or another. We try to somehow “attain” rather than surrender to “let in” God’s love. I think of the analogy of the drowning person struggling so hard but only making his predicament worse. The life guard comes and knows that to help to quickly will get him pulled under as well. So he waits a moment until the person surrenders to being helped. This is a good picture of how prayer works.
When I am in independence, living my own life, in control, I am, in effect, trying to attain my own righteousness under law.
Prayer Rather Than Will Power
It is not just a one-time surrender at salvation; it is a daily yielding. We can start with prayer. Not praying is a sign that I think I can handle my life all by myself (independence, will power). So keeping a prayer time is an act of faith.
“God I believe you care for me and that left to myself I’ll struggle. So I come to You in prayer, to wait on You, submitting my time to you, believing that You hear me and that I am in Your presence. I come to express my love and rejoice in Your will in whatever it is You have for me.”
If my prayer time consists of God pouring out revelation, I rejoice. If it is a dry time and I feel nothing at all, I show my faithfulness and also rejoice. Knowing that God gives me what is best for me at any given time. I acknowledge that dry times are perfect for cleansing my heart to better seek God’s face and not just His hand. In this way you will come to know God through prayer.
These attitudes in prayer can then begin to carry over into my day. In that slow line at the grocery store or in traffic, “God I accept Your will and rejoice and give thanks in all things. You order my steps and work all things for good. I surrender what I want”. When I get frustrated, display irritation, get pushy, I have taken back control, no longer believing God will take care of me. This is the path of learning to follow the Lamb whithersoever He goes. Even to submit when God asks me to bear the burdens of that difficult person I work with and win them through covering love or even surrender to go to the mission field!
Rm.4:3 Abraham believed God and it was imputed to him as righteousness.
This is at the crux of everything. I am either believing God or in my own strength, independence, eating from the wrong tree. The deeper life is really quite simple, so simple we can easily miss it!
The Christian life really is based in this idea that I can know God through prayer.
Pam Oglesby says
Robert, this is a very good article. The simplicity is what I missed for so many years as I felt I wasn’t worthy of God’s great love or His forgiveness. Surrender is not so hard. The rewards of living in peace and happiness despite personal circumstances are worthwhile. I always ask God to light my path, to make it clear, because I don’t want to miss out on his plan for my life.