About a month ago, I was driving home from visiting my sister in Kentucky and with about 7 and a half hours left, I decided to spend the remainder of my drive in prayer. I reached out to my friends on Facebook and asked them to send me prayer requests. I was going to pray regardless of whether or not I got a prayer request, but I was hopeful people would share specific requests. I was overwhelmed by the amount of prayer requests I got during that time. I received requests from people that are in my life daily and I received multiple requests from people I’m friends with on Facebook but haven’t talked to in years. As I got their messages, God opened my eyes to understanding where they are in their walk and He showed me the people I need to be investing more time in.
As I was doing my quiet time this morning, I was reading Isaiah and was reminded of something someone said to me during my request for prayer. This person prefaced their prayer request with “I have been praying, but I don’t think the Lord hears my prayers. Your faith is so much stronger than mine and I know the Lord answers when you ask.” Hearing them say this completely broke my heart. I spent some time talking to this person and helping them understand how they can feel more connected with the Lord, but as I read in Isaiah this morning my heart began to hurt again and I wondered how many other people feel the same way my sweet friend did.
Growing up I had a super fun youth minister who always found a fun way to relate what scripture said to our teenage brains. I remember one particular time he was talking about the importance of confession of sin. Brother Stan encouraged us to turn all the lights off in our bedroom, sit in the closet with a notebook and a pen and pray that the Lord reveal to us anything that was creating a barrier in our relationship with Him. I remember the first time I did this, page after page of people I needed to ask for forgiveness from and sins I needed to confess. You see, the list was extremely long because outside of asking the Lord to save me, I had never asked for forgiveness or confessed anything.
In that moment, my teenage self needed to ask for forgiveness for everything. So, with my list in hand, I prayed. Line by line, sin by sin, I confessed and I prayed asking the Lord for forgiveness. I tell you that story because recently at the Shane and Shane concert, they spoke about Lingering in the presence of the Lord. Shane asked why we are always in such a hurry to leave the presence of the Lord and why we have such a hard time just sitting there spending time with Him. To my dear friend who said the Lord can’t hear her prayers, I encouraged her to sit quietly with the Lord and pray what I prayed so long ago, asking the Lord to reveal to her the things that were standing in her way of growing more intimately with Him.
I may not sit in my closet anymore, but I do still participate in this silly exercise. Most days I find myself daily asking for forgiveness for something I have done. There are times when I am feeling disconnected or I don’t feel the Lord as closely as I usually do and in those times I remind myself to be still and be with the Lord.
I can’t express to you the amazing feeling I get every day waking up knowing the Lord is by my side. I hope if you don’t feel that right now you long to find that connection with Him. Spend time in the word DAILY! Meditate on His truth. Talk to Him through prayer. Confess your sins. Sit and be still! There is no better way to get closer to the Lord than to spend time with Him each day. If you aren’t doing that right now you are missing something. Don’t miss out on the great connection He desires to have with you. Sit with Him, talk to Him, listen to what He has to say. You will be amazed!
When you have some time, check out this message from Matt Chandler, Under the Faucet.
Under the Faucet