It has been suggested that Prayer is to our Spiritual Lives as Breathing is to our Physical. None of us would last more than a few minutes without breathing ... how much more do we need Prayer to sustain our Spiritual lives!

What is Prayer? First, it is not offering a shopping list for God to fill. Prayer is fellowshipping with our loving Creator ... an encounter with the Eternal Spirit. A meeting with the Supreme leaves our soul refreshed and energized! Here are four avenues where we can encounter the Living God:

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1. Worship

In the New Testament, the most common word used for Worship is the greek word proskuneo. It paints the picture of one bowing, even prostrate, and kissing the hand of another, just as a dog that licks the hand of its master. I don't know about you, but I love dogs, in large part because they seem to delight in my presence. In a similar way, we ought to delight in our Master's presence, enjoying His company and waiting on His every Word.

This kind of fellowship with the Almighty only comes to one who is in the Spirit. In response to the ritualistic and limiting worship practices of His day, Jesus said the true worshippers will worship God in Spirit and in Truth. Worship is more than lip service to God, or a weekly ritual every Sunday morning. It is living daily, moment by moment, in the reality and Truth of His Being ... quickened by Christ's Spirit within.

To Worship God is to affirm who He truly is. Read these great hymns of worship found in Scripture and allow them to resonate in your spirit. Read them aloud as your personal worship to the Only God!

1 Chronicles 29:11-13

Daniel 4:34-37

Romans 11:33-36

Revelation 4:11

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2. Confession

Much has already been spoken on this subject in a previous lesson. Any encounter with the Holy God will elicit a dread within us knowing we are but dust. We do well to remember that it is only by God's grace we enter His Holy presence and not by any merit of our own. Even such a Godly man as Isaiah quaked in fear as he stood in reverance before the Almighty's Throne. (Isaiah 6:1-8) And only after being sanctified by the Holy Fire did he dare utter words before the OmniPotent.

And so we come to God with full awareness that, save for the blood of Christ which takes away our sin and clothes us in the righteousness of the Divine, we would be utterly destroyed. We come into the Light in full agreement that we have sinned against Almighty God, and yet with the confident assurance that His grace is sufficient for all our sins!

Bow down before God who is Light, and allow Him to search your heart and mind for any thing that is offensive to Him who dwells in Light unapproachable. Confess them to Him and rest in the complete assurance of His forgiveness!

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3. Thanksgiving

Anyone who claims to know Christ but whose heart is ungrateful should examine himself to see if he is truly of the Faith. Thanksgiving should be the hallmark of the Christian's life, for no one else in all the world has as much to be thankful for! No one else is the recipient of so many blessings of God as the Christian!

For sure, I'm not speaking necessarily about material gifts or personal fortune. Scripture declares that God has blessed us with "every spiritual blessing" in the heavenly realm. Study Ephesians 1:3-14 and notice every blessing we have received in Christ.

Even in difficult circumstances we can be grateful, knowing that the Sovereign God is also the Loving God. These two qualities merge in Romans 8:28. If this verse is true, and it is, how should we view the dissappointments and failures in our lives? Trusting the God who lovingly watches over our every step is the only way to heal the darkest grief and deepest hurts. The very moment you Trust Him with your dissappointments is the moment you are freed from the chains of bitterness. We can thank Him in all things because He knows and orders them for our benefit. Thank God!

God's blessings can be placed in one of two categories: His Grace and His Mercy. List all the things you have because of God's Grace toward you. Then list all the things you don't have because of God's Mercy toward you. And be Thankful ... always!

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4. Supplication

We finally come to what most people equate prayer to be, the bringing of our needs to God. God wants us to come before Him with our requests, for in caring for us, God desires that we not worry but instead trust Him for our every need. And He promises to amply supply every one! But we must be careful of confusing our needs versus our wants. Like every good parent, God will protect and guard us from the harm of materialism lest we worship the creation rather than the Creator!

God has already outlined His requirements for answered prayer, and as long as we abide by them, we can be assured that He will hear us and answer our requests. Spend time in supplication right now, and discern God's Will for you in relation to each need you are bringing to Him, for He delights in your company and desires to reveal how much He cares for you!

May Your Times with Your Heavenly Father be Rich in His Presence, and as Numerous as the Stars in His Heaven!