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You only have to look around to see Christians getting down to prayer simply because they are about to do something important: whether it is a job, talking to someone about salvation, and even some pastors or teachers before preaching, and so on... This is not necessarily bad, just very incomplete in the results it produces. This is not at all what God has planned for His children.
Such practices have taken root in the Church throughout the world, often because of misunderstandings of texts in the Old Covenant. It is important to understand, and especially to realise, that the people of the Old Testament, and especially under the Law, did not have the same perspective on their relationship with God as we have today. This kind of obsolete idea today is fuelled by misunderstood passages where it speaks of consulting God. At that time the people would consult a prophet to ensure that God would be with them in whatever they did. Whether it was going to war or some other important action, the Hebrews used to consult God to ask Him to bless them in their endeavours.
Does this mean that this way of doing things is wrong?
No, it is not wrong to do this, but there is a better way, for God has not provided for us such attitudes today.
If you are born again, it means that Jesus dwells in you by His Holy Spirit. It also means that you not only have the opportunity, but the commitment to have a relationship with God for your own good.
The problem is that for a majority of Christians this relationship is not constant, it is yo-yo. We pray when we need something, or we set aside 20 or 30 minutes a day to pray. But outside of these moments we go back to our busy lives, without thinking about anything spiritual. So we connect for a few minutes a day, and then disconnect for most of the rest of the time.
But there is a much better solution to this.
Having a permanent relationship with God!
The first thing for me is to want it firmly, because I have understood that this is by far the best solution. To have a permanent relationship with God is to be able to do whatever I need to do without necessarily having to go and refocus on God before I act.
Does this mean that I will do things according to the weakness of the flesh?
Not at all!
On the contrary, I will enter into the assurance that not only is God by my side at all times, but also that my thinking is in line with His. For this I will have to maintain this relationship, and 20 minutes a day will not be enough.
Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
The Bible tells us to renew our souls, that is to say that we should turn our thoughts as often as possible to what God says. Often we take this passage and explain that we need to refocus our thoughts to bring them into line with God, which is true. But we can also approach the problem from the other side, by keeping our good thoughts in our hearts (thought system). Paul tells us about this in the passage below.
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
So this other option is to keep my soul as renewed as possible. So when I spend time renewing it, it creates a growth and not a readjustment of my way of thinking. The goal will be to keep my achievements and not to have like leaks where my thoughts according to God will fly away with time and with the rhythm of my days.
For this, and if this is the kind of relationship with God that you want, you will surely have to make some adjustments in your lifestyle.
This is simply given as an example and not necessarily as a model. I chose many years ago to change certain things in my way of life. I made these choices without any constraints but with joy and maturity. For example, I don't have a television, I don't watch movies, I don't watch any advertisements before a video on the internet, I remind myself as often as possible throughout my days who I am as a son of God, what my position in the kingdom is, the authority given to me by Jesus, and many other things. All this has become a habit and a way of life over the years, which I hardly pay attention to anymore, in the sense that I don't need to concentrate in my days to trigger this lifestyle.
Thus my soul is not only renewed but constantly grows in maturity. It remains weak because that is what it is, but even in its weakness, my soul becomes in many situations my ally and not my enemy.
To this should be added 3 times a day of intensive prayer to maintain my relationship with God, which amounts (to give an idea and not a model) to about 2.5 hours minimum each day.
That's why anything important and unexpected can happen in my day, I'm not going to take a special moment to pray beforehand, because I'm already in communion. Whether it's praying to heal someone anywhere, teaching in front of anyone, or anything else, I'm ready without needing to spend 20 or 30 minutes in prayer to refocus on my relationship.
This is the difference between a yo-yo life and a relationship with God that grows exponentially. This certainly has a price, and this price must never be a constraint, but a pleasure. The Holy Spirit teaches us, and all we have to do is ask Him with motivation and faith. But we are the primary beneficiaries, that is a certainty.
Bye for now...
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