What would it be like: to have our nation on its knees in prayer? For our city to be a home of refuge? For church congregations to be a place of healing? For our households to be dwellings of His presence? For us to have an intimacy with God that finds us prostrate in awe and reverence? What would it be like if we passionately pursued God just because of who He is and not for what He can do for us?
By Esther Hatcher
As I step into 2018, with 2017’s prayers still fresh in my mind, the ones that got answered, still dealing with the disappointment of seemingly unanswered prayers, can I believe God is really my Father and cares for every detail of my life? Am I ready to trust God no matter what the circumstances look like? Am I ready to give time to pursue intimacy with God?
Are we, as a church, corporately and individually, ready to go deeper into prayer? To sacrifice time and energy in the holy place? Perhaps, more importantly, to be passionately committed to meeting with the living God?
Passionately committed to seeking God
To do this, we need to know Him. God is holy  , He is love  , He is good  and He is righteous and just  …He is mercy, grace and patience  … He is peace  and He is joy  , to name but a few of His attributes. I think that describes someone who I want to catch up with on a daily basis! How many times though have we prayed a half-hearted prayer or done it out of duty forgetting the Almighty God we are talking to? We can become so familiar with similarly worded prayers that it loses all passion and joy! Isaiah 6:1-5 gives us a perfect illustration of how we should view God and honour the sacrifice He made for us. Its verses like these that should awaken our souls, draw us to our knees in reverence and leave us rejoicing.
When we spend time with God on a daily basis, we get to know Him and like the outcome of any
love relationship this should result in love, trust and joy!
More Like Jesus
Jesus is our perfect example in every way. In Hebrews 5:7 we read: “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.” Even Jesus went to God with eager requests! He knew who He was praying to and what God could do, but what I find most fascinating here is that His prayers were heard, because Jesus had a deep solemn respect for God and acceptance of His supreme authority. This has challenged me for a while now; when I pray, do I leave it with God accepting His answer to the situation at hand, while continuing to seek him in earnest?
Over everything we face, we can look to the one that has saved us from death and trust in His sovereignty. Proverbs 19:21 says “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”
God of the Impossible
Seeing God as He is, doing as Jesus did and being committed about meeting with Him every day, I am convinced will have greater impact on our prayer lives. Because of this, the passion we have for God and His Kingdom will grow rapidly with depth and power. We will believe for more, contend for more and stand strong knowing whatever the circumstances look like, God is in control. There will be fresh desire to battle for our nation to humble herself before God, because we know that our prayers have power to change a nation! Reaching out to our city suddenly won’t be daunting, it will become vital and exciting for us to partner with God in it, knowing He is the God of the impossible. The prayer meeting before church on a Sunday morning will quickly grow more attractive, because our hearts will be aching to see God move amongst His people in greater ways! Our households will be homes of rejoicing and a place of sanctuary for those who enter into it. And for us, we will eagerly anticipate meeting with our Father, because we know that He is our source of life, without Him our everyday just feels empty. We will run to Jesus with hearts that are full of gratitude and a desire to have even deeper intimacy with our Saviour. Therefore we can confidently offer up our prayers and petitions, knowing they will be heard.
The more time we spend with the King above all Kings, the more effective we will become as ambassadors of His power in our lives and to the world around us.
2 Timothy 1:7 “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
By Esther Hatcher Esther, married to James, is loving mum to three amazing children. She is a member of the team who lead the Real Life Women at Life Church because she is someone who loves God’s Word and the power of His presence. A teacher by profession, she carries a desire to help others to pray and connect with their Heavenly Father in ever deepening ways.