Saturday, April 2, 2011

Prayer, Part Four: Awareness

Our third prayer word is Awareness. Look at these verses:

May the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with all of you. (2 Thessalonians 3:16)

In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to You, and will eagerly watch. (Psalm 5:3)

Awareness is that eager watchfulness for the Lord—-being aware that the Lord of peace is with us. I seek the Lord very diligently when I'm having a bad day, but I've been praying that I will look for the Lord and be aware of Him even in the good times. A few weeks ago I looked up at the sky and noticed there were no clouds. I've lived in the desert for 8 years and I'm still amazed at how many cloudless days we have--even in the spring. I took a moment to thank God for cloudless skies. And I remembered that the night before had been very windy, so windy that it woke me up at one a.m. While I was awake I began to worry about the garbage in the garbage can out at the curb. Was it blowing all over the street? What was the last thing I put in the garbage can—was it heavy enough to hold the garbage down? I knew I wasn't going to sleep til I checked it out, so I pulled on some clothes and went outside. The garbage was not blowing all over the street, so I came back in and went back to bed. As I remembered that the next day, I thought of other nights when I'd been awake at 1 a.m., worried or sad or stressed. And so that morning, I thanked God for a peaceful night when my only concern was a garbage can. And I asked Him to help me be aware of Him in these peaceful times..those everyday moments under a cloudless sky or on a windy night with a garbage can.

One of the things that jogs my memory to make me aware of God is His creation—the mountains around my town, the cat purring on my bed, my small herb garden.

From the creation of the world His invisible attributes, that is His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what He has made...(Romans 1:20)

When I observe Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You set in place, what is man that You remember him, the son of man that You look after him? (Psalm 8:3-4)

Last summer I asked the Lord for a greater awareness of Him. My husband has more time at home in the summer, and I love that because he cooks, and I enjoy not having much of a routine. But without much of a routine, it can be hard to get my usual Bible reading and prayer time every day. When it's 115 outside, I need that refreshment of God's Word! In the summer we don't have women's Bible study and I miss the fellowship! Last year I prayed about how to stay in the Word, and I ended up putting Bible study books and extra copies of the Bible all over my house, so I could grab one when I had five minutes. I learned that five minutes here and there added up to an hour or so, and I felt that I was more aware of what God was teaching me because it was spread through my day and it was in my thoughts continually.

If you are in a frazzled stage of life, you may be discouraged at how to include one more thing—even if it's being aware of God—in your daily routine. Here is encouragement from David:

May my prayer be set before You as incense, the raising of my hands as the evening offering. (Psalm 141:2)

Some days we have no energy and no words, and all we can do is raise our hands to the Lord. Our prayers are fragrant to Him, even when they are so very simple. He knows us intimately and accepts whatever worship we are capable of giving Him.

I complain and groan, morning noon and night, and He hears my voice. (Psalm 55:17)

Isn't that beautiful? Even if your prayers are complaints and groans, He hears you.

The Lord will send His faithful love by day: His song will be with me in the night—a prayer to the God of my life. (Psalm 42:8)

Praying for awareness is praying that you will hear that song in the night and will respond with a prayer to the God of your life. It's a prayer that you will open your eyes to see His goodness and faithful love pursuing you, as Psalm 23:6 says:

Only goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life...(Psalm 23:6)

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