Wise Words for Today

Holy Spirit,

We have come to a critical breaking point when we admit that we can’t pray effectively on our own and that we need to rely on the leadership of the Holy Spirit. This is a line of demarcation. In a sense, it is both a finish line and a starting point.

 It is a finish line because we are done with pumping up our own prayers like helium-filled balloons and hoping that when we let go they will somehow reach heaven’s shore. We are finished self-generating a love relationship with God, finished shouldering the responsibility to win God’s favor, and finished bearing the insecurity of not knowing if we are praying properly, praying powerfully, or praying often enough.

 We realize that prayer relegates us to the status of paupers. Street beggars. Bag ladies. Coming to this humble conclusion is one of the most liberating moments in our relationship with Christ. We quit trying to impress Him. We quit trying to fake it.

 The finish line is also the starting point. It is where we start to be ourselves and where we let God be God. For perhaps the first moment in our lives, we shift from focusing on what we do when we pray to what God does when we pray. We start to receive His love so we can respond to His initiative. We start to pray under the influence of the Spirit, in the power of the Spirit, according to the will of the Spirit. My friend, welcome to the incredible world of prayer on fire! This is where the sparks begin to fly.

 Fred A. Hartley III

 (from Prayer on Fire)

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