“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7, NLT).
Why do some Christians not immediately turn to God when their burdens grow overwhelming? They struggle to find peace, and try every conceivable way they can possibly think of to achieve it. They know in their mind that peace can’t be found in circumstance, but still struggle to find a way to fix it. One would think that God would be their first avenue for relief, but He isn’t. Perhaps He hasn't answered prayers in the past the way they wished. Perhaps it is because they don't feel His presence, and they are afraid to try again. Perhaps that time of prayer, which had once been like a close friend, now seems so old and distant. Whatever the reason, they feel alone and separated by a wall that has grown in its immensity.
God is still there, and however large the wall, it can come down. One chink in that forbidding structure, and it begins to tumble into pieces. One prayer from a heart-worn cry of the spirit, and the barrier starts to fall. We might not know what to pray, but the cry of the spirit does. “The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express” (Romans 8:26, NLT). It is in surrender of yourself to God—it is in the surrender of a need to control—it is in the final surrender of your spirit to His spirit, when no words can express the pain in your heart, that you finally release your pain to God. Heart-to-heart prayer claims all of you. In that spirit-to-spirit closeness, there comes a peace that passes earthly understanding. You are protected, and loved completely. You are safe in His presence.
If it has been awhile since you have prayed from the heart, He is still there. If it has been awhile since you have felt His presence in prayer, He is still there. If it has been awhile since your heart has known close spirit-to-spirit release, He is still there. If you have never known the intimacy of this kind of prayer, He is right there waiting for you to surrender control of your life to Him. Heart-to-heart prayer is like an old friend who has never tired of the delay, but has waited patiently for to you to discover the joy in that friendship once more. Sweet prayer comes when you once again open the pain in your heart to the Holy Spirit. In that moment of intimate release, you know Him as He has always known you—completely and as one.
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