The first time I ever heard someone speak on prayer was when I was around 25 years old. I was helping to coordinate a large conference for Christians in New England, and I had a few minutes free between responsibilities. I slipped into a workshop on prayer with a speaker I had never met, and those few minutes changed my life.
The speaker was not notably charismatic or eloquent. In fact, he did nothing more than sit on a chair, talking quietly about intimacy with God.
I don’t even remember what he said. But I can tell you one thing: this man knew Jesus.
Something about the way he spoke of Him was different than what I’d heard in churches. Real. Authentic. I could tell that Jesus was with him. It made me hungry to know Jesus that way, too.
From that day on, it became a lifelong passion of mine to know this God that was more than words, more than religion, and more than the ritual prayers I had been taught as a girl. I saw that the way I prayed was dry and passionless. Meeting someone who loved Jesus and spoke with authority about intimacy with God had a life-changing effect on me.
Later, I discovered that this speaker was a pastor whose ministry extended well beyond the four walls of his church. His effectiveness in ministry was a direct result of his personal commitment to prayer. He exemplified the primary goal of prayer, which is to know God and make Him known.
Paul wrote in Philippians: “I count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord… that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings…” (NKJV)
Why pray? Because when you have a dynamic prayer life with God, it shows. You don’t even need to say anything sometimes: people will see Jesus in you and be drawn to you because they want to know Him more.
I used to wonder why strangers approached me in stores and began telling me their life stories. (This happens more often than I like to admit!) Couldn’t they see that I was in a hurry, busy trying to shop for my own family? Now I know that it isn’t me they’re talking to, it’s Jesus in me. They are seeking what I sought earlier: a life-giving relationship with Christ.
Friends, the only way people are going to see Jesus is if YOU are full of His Presence! God has decided that for the most part, this is how He wants to reveal Himself to the world – through us.
One man’s authentic relationship with Jesus changed me forever. The Presence of God in Him was more convicting than any sermon. Is your life this powerful? Do you know Jesus this way?
Reflect and Pray
1. Have you ever had an encounter with God that convinced you of His reality and Presence in your world? If so, take a moment to remember the details. Thank God for your experience of Him!
2. If not, why not? It’s up to you! Read Jeremiah 29:13, Proverbs 8:17, and Matthew 7:7-8. These scriptures show clearly that those who seek God wholeheartedly DO find Him, just as I did years ago. Make a quality decision to diligently seek the One who longs to be found by you!
3. Pray this prayer with me: Father, I thank you for Your Presence that abides in me! (John 15:4.) Let Your light shine brightly as I move through this world, and help me to identify those times when people see You in me, so that I can love them as you loved me! Help me to develop a life of authentic intimacy with You that impacts those around me, so that they long to know You, too. Amen.
© Deborah Perkins / www.HisInscriptions.com. Cover photo credit: Nicola Fioravanti.
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A severe hearing loss from childhood caused Deborah Perkins to develop what she now calls her secret weapon: tuning in to God's voice. A Wellesley College graduate and an award-winning writer, Deborah is now a wife and mother of 3 boys. Deborah has devoted over 25 years to professional and lay Christian ministry in New England and beyond. Her passion is inspiring people to cultivate greater intimacy with God.