PRAYER: "The Must Have Girl Essential," Part 2 By Kelli Zaniel

Communing with God satisfies the soul, even if it does take place in the closet.

The welcoming sky greeted the glowing morning sun as its rays sparkled underneath the closet door. As I quietly closed my Bible, I could hear little giggles and tiptoeing of toddler sized feet approaching. The door knob twisted and the door slowly creaked open. Two sets of sleepy eyes peeked in, then two noses and finally two tiny faces. The two intruders asked, “mom, what are you doing in the closet?” I replied, “spending personal private time with God.” The following day, I was cleaning the house and noticed that things seemed way too quiet. I began looking for my “up to no good children,” only to find them buried behind a bubble gum colored blanket in the closet. I asked them what they were doing in the closet. They replied, “having personal quiet time with Jesus.” I guess naked Barbie, Ken, a weeble wobble and a headless Cinderella also needed personal time since they too were hiding in the closet. I thought to myself, even though I blow it and fail at this mom thing alot, I do get some things right. If nothing else, my children know that every morning, mommy has a rendezvous with Jesus in her closet.

Lets unearth the treasures Jesus left behind regarding prayer and how we are to commune with the Father. Jesus was the perfect prayer example as he,

1. Prayed constantly and passionately;
2. Came to God in reverent submission;
3. Learned obedience by things he suffered;
4. Never waivered commitment to the fathers will (“My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish his work,” John 4:34);
5. Did not respond by repeating routine words (Matt 6:7) or trying to impress those around with his spirituality (Matt 6:5);
6. Maintained a close vital relationship with the Father; and
7. Looked at prayer as his lifeline to the Father.

“Their prayer reached heaven, his holy dwelling place,” (2 Chronicles 30:27). Sometimes we as Christians think of prayer as our personal gift to God. Unfortunately, these gifts sometimes come with strings. “God, I will do this (blank) if you will just do this one thing for me first.” I am guilty of rambling on and on around the important issues, never allowing God a chance to speak. Maybe that is why scripture says, “be quick to listen and slow to speak,” (see James 1:19). Without that constant reminder, we would never learn anything because we (especially me) would be talking nonstop. A two-way relationship means I am talking AND I am listening. Ask yourself, am I listening to God in our time together? Do I talk too much and listen too little?

Prayer is not our gift to God, it is a privilege handed down by God to us with a personal invitation into his throne room. Once I began to realize that God pursues hard after me, desires to spend time with me and consistently invites me into His dwelling place, prayer changed my life. I began living my life totally sold out for God.

When we release our lives to God through prayer, even Satan trembles. Why do you think Satan trembles when we pray? Because even Satan knows that when we pursue a significant prayer life, we are fully equipped to obey and honor the Father. Through prayer, God enables us to become more effective Christians, therefore, making life for the wicked one much more difficult. Satan relishes his starring role in the play of life as, “the deceiver who leads humanity astray.” His devious agenda is annihilated as we draw near to the Father and the Father draws near to us. Satan may laugh over our struggles and mock our wisdom, but he is defeated when we pray. I find comfort in knowing that Satan has a soft spot…my prayers!

Are you packing your “must have girl essentials,” today? Do you have a heart filled with gratitude and love for your Savior? When we abide in Christ and allow Him to be the provider of our “must have essentials,” we will travel through our daily duties and rough patches with grace. Take this prayer promise from God with you today: Once we are cleansed from all the filthiness of sin, God will give us a new heart and renewed spirit (See Ezek. 36:22); Because we have this new, inexperienced heart, the Bible teaches that we as believers, “are to pray without ceasing,” (1Thess. 5:17) because we can’t do, “anything apart from abiding in Christ,” (1 John 15:5). I know that if I surrender to God’s will in prayer, He not only hears me (1 John 5:14) and responds (see James 5:16) but He gives me everything I need (see Mark 11:24).

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