Prayer – Privilege or Chore?

Ask God to settle in your heart what a privilege it is to pray.  Ask Him to move you past the duty (“I have to pray”) to the privilege (“I have the freedom to pray.”)  He is Emanuel, God with us, and He wants to talk with us.

Because He is Emanuel and wants to spend time with His children, our prayer times should be seen as an advantage, a benefit, an opportunity.

We are at liberty to pray to our Creator.  He has given us favor to do so.  Even more, He has assured us that He hears our prayers.  In Jeremiah 29:12-13, for example, the Lord says, “When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen. When you come looking for me, you’ll find me.”  (MSG)

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Image Credit: Julie K. Gillies

A line in the hymn, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” sums up my point: What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.

We are afforded the opportunity to talk with God.  To listen to God.  To be close to God.

When we talk to God, we have the privilege of knowing who we are talking with.  We know His name.  We are able to call Him friend.  We are able to call Him Father.

We have the freedom to make requests of Him:  Seek me.  Save me.  Teach me.  Heal me. 

We have the benefit of knowing He is always near, never far.

We have the advantage of time in quiet and stillness with Him.

Honestly, we can talk with Him anytime or anywhere because He is ever-present.

He desires us to talk with Him.  Sit with Him.  Cry to Him.  Lay our cares on Him.  Listen to Him.  Know Him.


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Let us come to a place in our lives where we genuinely acknowledge the privilege = we are able to pray to God and have the confidence that He hears us.

Ask God to reveal your heart to you.  Do you see time with Him as a duty?  Something to be accomplished every day?  Checked off your list of tasks?  Is your time with God calculated?  Something you feel you must do to gain a desired outcome or response?

If this is where you are, don’t be discouraged.  Everyone has to start somewhere.

Or maybe you thought you already moved past this point and can’t figure out how you got back here.

Don’t let this get you down.  We go through seasons.  Life circumstances change.


Image Credit:  Miracle Channel

The important thing to do is to realize when you find yourself in that place so you can pray and ask God for help.

Ask God to move you past the view that you have a duty to fulfill.  Ask Him to show you that you have been given freedom to enjoy something of a higher value: a relationship with God.  This plea for a deeper more genuine relationship is pleasing to God, and He will surely change your heart.



I’ve Found Your Next Bible Study

Deep. Challenging. Introspective.  Quiet.  Calming.

These are words I would use to describe Psalm 119: Walking in the Light – A Flourish Bible Study Journal.

This study is an in-depth look at scripture from Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the Bible and the longest Psalm.  And I cannot recommend it highly enough to you for your next Bible study – either as an individual or with a small group.

One of the things that I love most about this study is that it challenges me to dig deeper into the Bible.  It focuses on a few verses of the Psalm and fosters thorough exploration of those verses.

The authors, Mindy Kiker and Jenny Kochert, co-creators of Flourish Writers, encourage the use of alternate translations, Bible commentaries, word studies, exploration of the context, an application to investigate and understand the scriptures.

There is not an excess of narrative in this study.  Instead, readers are directed to use the methods mentioned above to study and then to record our own thoughts, discoveries, journeys, and experiences with God as we explore the verses.  Journaling is a technique I enjoy using in my own study of the Bible, so the openness of this study appeals to me and encourages me to flex my writing muscles.

The writers realize that different people have varying amounts of time to devote to the study, so they’ve built in multiple options for investigations; you can complete as much as you can based on your available time.  The self-paced study is organized into 4 weeks with 5 days of work each week, but you can go through at your own speed.  If you end up spending two or three days on one section because of how God is speaking to you, there is room for that.  If you push through a couple of lessons in one sitting because you have the free time, that is ok, too.

I enthusiastically recommend this study.  God has already spoken to me so clearly about a current struggle in my life.  I am gaining understanding and confidence to walk through this time with the assurance that God’s word is and will continue to illuminate my path so that I do not stumble.

Based on the structure and organization of the study and how it has already challenged me to investigate in greater depth, I am confident this will not be my last Flourish Bible study.  I will definitely be on the look out for more materials from Mindy Kiker and Jenny Kochert.