(Continued from 7 Secrets to Powerful Prayer - Part 1) I've personally experience daily measures of grace from God, not because I pray for it, but because I resign myself to Him with daily prayerful meditation. When we let go in God's love, the self has nothing to feed on, so the ego dies, and when the ego dies, God can become more, and with God's increased presence comes favor.
What I just shared with you is the key to making the seven secrets to powerful prayer work. Let's begin.
What I'm sharing with you comes from Matthew 6:6-15.
Secret #1 - Privacy
Matthew 6:6 - "But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly."
It's okay to pray in public and with others, just don't make show of it. Your relationship with will deepen when you dedicate your prayer time to a quiet place where you can meditate on the words of God.
Dedicate a room, or space, as your sacred prayer place. It must be a place where you can quiet the mind. Remember God sees what's happening in the secret place of your heart, soul, and mind. So you need a place that helps you think of God with little or no distraction.
Secret #2 - Prayerful Repetitions
Matthew 6:7 - "And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words."
This is probably one of the most misunderstood verses in the Bible. A "vain repetition" is exactly that. If you pray and your mind wanders, that prayer is light on sincerity. We could say that your words were spoken in vain. The same goes for the repetition of words in prayer.
This is quite different from words spoken with sincerity, clarity of God, and in firm alignment with God's word. Words spoken by a person with a cultivated soul speaks by the Spirit. When we are relinquished to God, it doesn't matter if words are repeated.
Vain repetitions are words spoken without substance. I learned this lesson well during my exposure with Orthodox devotees. One of the main prayers of Orthodoxy often repeated, sometimes for hours, and even days comes from Luke 18:13. In the verse, Jesus describes two men, one was proud over his righteousness, while the other was remorseful over his sinful nature.
In the story, the sinful man is a tax collector who couldn't raise his eyes to to God, instead he beat his chest and said, "God, be merciful to me a sinner!"
Jesus explains that the sinner is the man who is justified by God and not the righteous man. From this, we can learn that the heart of the sinful man was sincere in his plea to God. The emotional and intellectual substance of this man's prayer was so meaningful that God extends grace and forgiveness to him. God's reaction is not the same for the man who boasts about his righteous ways.
In Orthodoxy, the custom is to repeat the prayer of the sinful man taught by Jesus. With the aid of a prayer rope, a person can stand, or sit for hours and repeating this prayer. The value wasn't clear to me until I tried it.
What I discovered is that a person can vainly repeat the prayer and get nothing from the practice, or they can gradually consecrate themselves to more to God when the prayer is said in a meaningful way.
After nearly a month of practice, I learned that we must train the mind to focus if we want to meditate on God. Through this experience, I also learned that we can pray words with our entire being to God. This type of spiritual expression is heard by God and develops our inner being. It is a spiritual exercise that brings into view our spiritual life with God.
The practice is remarkably different from vainly repeated words expressed without love, devotion, or understanding.
Notice that Jesus doesn't say that we shouldn't use repetitions as a prayer, He says that "vain repetition" reaps no reward. This leaves the reader to assume that meaningful repetitions are heard by God.
Once you designate a quiet place as your prayer room, select a short Bible verse you can use to focus your mind and repeat it until God's word is your focus.
Once I experienced the value of meditatively praying the Lord's prayer in Luke 18:13 I haven't been able to stop. Today I get up between 4 and 4:30 every morning, go to my designated prayer area, close my eyes, and slowly and quietly say, "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God have mercy on me a sinner."
By the tenth or twelfth repetition, I find that my mind enters God's grace. This an excellent way of stopping worldly thought and dedicating yourself to God.
Ever sang a worship song where you repeat the chorus, and while you repeat the chorus you feel elevated in spirit, similar process and effect.
Matthew 6:8 "Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him."
God knows what you need and want. God is fully aware of every situation in your life, every thought of your mind, every word you speak, and every intention of your heart. So instead of praying for something, which may not be what God wants for you, pray for God's guidance to the most blessed destination of your life with Jesus.
If you want your life to be fully sanctified with God's presence then you will ask very little from God. I live in a fast-paced business environment where hundreds of decisions are made every day. I can tell for a fact that you can attend to high-stress businesses demands and still feel the fulfillment that comes from just being with God. When you enjoy life this way most of your prayers will petition God for daily guidance, strength, and wisdom. Taking action with God's guidance means God's help is assisting you, which means you make great strides in your accomplishments.
So during your prayer time let go of the world and all its complications sit quietly, meditatively prayer your selected verse, enter God's grace and just guided toward our most blessed destination where we can fully enjoy His presence.
Praying like this will endow you with God's presence very quickly. Granting a sincere petition for help and God's best for us is the simplest way of opening the doors of heaven. Meditatively praying for God's will to happen accelerates our life with toward a spiritually fulfilling destiny with God. (Got to Part 3)
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