Learning to entreat Yahweh, the God of the Universe, with greater clarity will produce unimageable change in your life.
Entreating Yahweh Changes Everything
Entreating Yahweh, and a measure of patience, will change your entire life in ways you could hardly imagine. However, making this step requires several things above every other.
First, one must get to a place to understand their limitations. There is all form of erroneous doctrine teaching the limitlessness of a human being.
Especially in Western culture, we are bombarded with images that falsely present limitations with respect to men and women. For instance, anyone who watches police procedural dramas today, will believe that 99% of the time, a small petite woman will win a physical confrontation with a much larger man.
Further, we make-up terms which describe borderless living such as “trans.” A brief search on Facebook will reveal that a person can select from dozens of different genders when only two exist.
According to God’s Word (Genesis 5:1-2):
When all this deception is coupled with the false separation of God and science, is it any wonder such confusion abounds?
The point is, in our current world and that to come for believers in Jesus, there will be limits.
I would submit that accepting we have limits opens us up to the wisdom given by a limitless Yahweh.
The beginning of seeking His wisdom requires entreating God through prayer. When it comes to prayer, most would agree that our level of intimacy with God is much greater when we spend time in solitude and quiet.
The Bible indicates entreating Him is important and should be done often. One that immediately comes to mind is: “the fervent effectual prayers of the righteous produces much fruit.”
Prayer is critical for Believers to engage in, and Pastors must teach this! Not being dependent enough on it, will lead to more heartaches than you can imagine. However, prayer requires clarity before we can hear what God is saying to us.
But how can we become more intimate with God? How will spending time in solitude and quiet help us to have better clarity and power in our prayers?
These are great questions and there are many beautiful examples of how spending time in solitude and quiet can increase our intimacy with God. However, quiet time is often easier said than done in daily living.
The reality is, taking the right steps to truly hear from God in solitude requires getting away from people.
There is nothing wrong with this either!
In the Garden of Gethsemane on the night Jesus was arrested, He walked away from His followers to pray (Matthew 26: 36-39):
Let’s examine effective strategies to assist in your prayer life.
Entreat Yahweh in Solitude and Quiet
Entreating Yahweh in solitude and quiet is crucial for one overarching reason. As important as it is to speak, it is even more crucial to listen.
Noisy places work directly against hearing what God has to say. Further, we must make sure we are calling on God for holy reasons and not simply to be seen by others.
You will be surprised to know how many people pray openly to "clout chase."
Jesus even said so (Matthew 5:5-6):
As we see, Jesus tells us to seek both solitude and quiet. Prayer is between you and God and is no one else's concern. At its most basic, prayer honors God’s place as head of your lives.
It also allows you to connect more deeply with Him.
The quieter you are, the more you will hear Him. Your quiet place, that private place, will focus your prayer and listening efforts. When you are in solitude, you can better formulate Godly thoughts.
Silence also gives you space to engage with God without feeling any pressure to say something or do something. As you commit to personal prayer space, your sense of calm will increase as well.
This is because when we are in solitude, our mind has space to relax and quiet down. While in solitude, we are also able to engage with the Holy Spirit.
Interacting with God Means Listening for Answers
Jesus’s brother James said something about our prayer tendencies which bears mentioning (James 4: 2-3):
Jesus spoke of our prayer failures as well. However, when we interact with God we should listen for answers. This becomes challenging because when we ask, He does not immediately answer.
When we interact with God, this is also meant to produce patience. Prayer, above any other thing, must produce a spirit of patience.
In our society, we have become “right now” people. When I was a boy, I remember that although my mother bought a microwave oven, she never used it. Of course, we did, but she preferred heating up food the old-fashioned way.
There was a time when we physically wrote hand letters and dropped them in the mailbox as well. That has been replaced by lightspeed email for the most part.
This fails to mention our “entertainment on demand” attitude with respect to streaming programming. Nevertheless, God has not changed even though it appears our society has.
As you spend time in solitude, you will engage with God on a deeper level.
Solitude is also about both hearing from God, and recording His revelations as well! A best practice is keeping some form of recording device handy.
Whatever the tool, document insights about your prayers, insights into your life, etc. Speaking aloud also increases your level of clarity. Each time you gain insight, whatever it be, record it immediately.
This way, you will be able to both hear God and wait on His revelation with respect to follow-through.
Where would any of us be if King David wouldn’t have recorded his prayers in the Book of Psalms? One of the greatest of these is: “the Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want…”
There are very few of us who haven’t heard at least one (1) Sunday message on the 23rd Psalm!
As Believers, we too often depend on preachers to record “God revelations.” What is so special about US that we can write, and you can’t?
Prayers between you and the Lord are personal. There are things He will reveal to you during prayer time that are not meant to be spoken to anyone else.
We are back to this: we have not because we ask not, or we ask of amiss. If something in life isn’t going right, prayer offers us a tool to better understand. For that matter, whose to say things are going wrong?
Do we really believe things are going wrong because they aren't working out the way we think they should?
Aren’t we the same Christians who boldly proclaim: “God works in mysterious ways” to a dying world?
Petitioning Heaven Cultivates Connection to the Holy Spirit
As you engage in solitude and quiet, you will increase effectiveness in petitioning Heaven and thus, Holy Spirit alignment. One of the best ways to do this is to spend time praying for others.
Praying for others is one of the best ways to cultivate a connection to the Holy Spirit.
This will function as an additional source of clarity and power for your prayers. The simple act of righteously praying for others develops a love and sympathy for them.
Even praying for those you have relational struggles with increases your prayer footprint.
Another way to develop prayer is meditative activities. These can be activities such as sitting quietly and visualizing prayers.
Let me be clear, however.
I am not suggesting any of that eastern pagan style meditation! There is no other way into the Father’s presence except Jesus Christ. Jesus said: “No one comes to the Father except through me.”
These activities will help you to connect with the Holy Spirit and cultivate a deeper sense of closeness with Him.
Intercede for God’s Enemies
The best way to connect with the purpose of prayer is praying for your enemies.
Let’s get one thing theologically straight before going further. The only reason you have enemies lies in the fact that God has enemies.
Throughout the Scripture, it is evident that it is God that people reject so you are just collateral damage. Too often, we take things far too personal without understanding where the real battle is located.
This is crucial because Jesus said something incredible on this very topic (Matthew 5:43-45):
When we pray for God's enemies, we become Children of God! It is crucial to understand, as well, that His enemies are certainly His follower's as well.
What greater apostolic example do we have been the way Jewish leadership turned on Paul when he began to follow Jesus? When Paul was hunting down Christian for these people, he was considered a great man.
However, when Jesus changed his life, Paul became their enemy. Again, it was not Paul who was their enemy rather God.
I have personal experience with this as a Pastor.
When I first began pastoring, I wanted to “learn the ropes” and ingratiated myself with local leadership. As long as I did wickedly by even being in their presence, they showered me with compliments, money, and preaching opportunities.
Yet when the Lord separated me from them, and I confronted them to the face, I became their enemy.
Those of us serious about following Jesus must understand something simple. People within the church, that are God’s enemies, never believe that they are!
The higher they are in church leadership, the more they have assured themselves God is the one blessing them for their obedience. When I told certain local leaders they were His enemy, the response was swift, evil, and I was no longer “one of them.”
The point is: you must remain obedient enough to intercede for hell bound church people. I can only imagine their surprise when they hear those awful words from Jesus: “depart from me you that work evil. I never knew you.”
Interceding can be healing not only for them, but for you as well. More than anything else, this demonstrates love for God’s word, and those who believe they are following Him.
Jesus said: “but I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you and bless the one who curses you.” When you pray for enemies, you are also showing a measure of forgiveness.
Another wonderful thing about praying for our enemies is that it serves as a reminder that we have done evil to others as well.
Prayer is central to the life of a Believer. We shouldn’t just pray when we want something from God. This is not prayer at all rather treating God like some sort of “wishing well” only visited when something is required.
God requires something from you as well: obedience. The Bible says: “pray and pray without ceasing.” No, this doesn’t mean stay on your “knees” all day. It does mean “always stay in the spirit.”
These tips should help you rededicate yourself to both prayer, and more effective listening as well.
Header Image Courtesy of Tima Miroshnichenko @ Pexels