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Prayer, Plain and Simple

Prayer, Plain and Simple

The Path of Peace – Taking Steps Toward Intimacy with God

Psalm 95
Come, let us sing to the Lord!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come to him with thanksgiving.
Let us sing psalms of praise to him.
For the Lord is a great God,
a great King above all gods.
He holds in his hands the depths of the earth
and the mightiest mountains.
The sea belongs to him, for he made it.
His hands formed the dry land, too.
Come, let us worship and bow down.
Let us kneel before the Lord our maker,
for he is our God.
We are the people he watches over,
the flock under his care.
If only you would listen to his voice today!
The Lord says, “Don’t harden your hearts as Israel did at Meribah,
as they did at Massah in the wilderness.
For there your ancestors tested and tried my patience,
even though they saw everything I did.
For forty years I was angry with them, and I said,
‘They are a people whose hearts turn away from me.
They refuse to do what I tell them.’
So in my anger I took an oath:
‘They will never enter my place of rest.’”

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(NLT)

I (Jill) read this Scripture today and decided to try to follow it. It was a blessing because in the end, God gave me a strategy and some important wisdom for a challenge I was facing. I think there is a progression of blessing when we follow these principles. No, it’s not how we gain love from God! His love never changes for me. It’s not based on my performance! I get that, and I hope you do as well. But as Dallas Willard says, “Grace is opposed to earning but not to effort.” There are things that we can do to gain intimacy with God just as there are things I can do to gain intimacy with Mark. Just as I must put effort into my marriage if I want it to succeed, I need to take initiative in my steps towards God in order to know Him and enjoy Him more fully.

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Try this today and see what God speaks to you! Follow the steps outlined in Psalm 95:

1. Sing. It’s always music to God’s ears, no matter what you think about your performance! I had a kid who had no sense of pitch when she was little, but boy, did I love hearing her sing! God’s just like that with you! (By the way, now she sings like an ANGEL!)

2. Shout joyfully to God. (I did this when my teenage son was still sleeping this morning. I’m pretty sure he slept right through it, but his dreams might have had a jolt.)

3. Offer thanksgiving. There is just so much to be grateful for. When we follow gratitude our whole perspective changes, and it is contagious to those around us.

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4. Praise with Psalms. The KJV says “Make a joyful noise”. The Hebrew brings out the tone of a battle cry. We will face battles today. But as we do, we enforce the victory that Jesus has already won on our behalf.

5. Worship.  This denotes prostrating yourself. It’s face time –as in on-the-carpet — where I recognize how BIG he is and how little I am.

6. Bow Down. Reverently bow as you would to a king, in humility and love.

7. Kneel. Bless Him and adore Him.

8. Listen to his voice. Now that you’ve reminded yourself of who He is and what He has done for you, quietly sit at his feet and hear what He wants to tell you today. It will be encouraging, loving, challenging, and always redemptive.

9. Enter into His rest! He so wants us to establish our lives with peace. May you be unhurried and full of his serenity as you enter this new day. As the Psalm indicates, this will be impossible if we do not follow His leadership, but if we do, we will find the Blessing Jesus died to give us.

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