Day 3: Prayer and Presence

Have you ever been surprised by a sudden reminder of God’s presence with you? Your schedule is full and your life is successful and moving along in the fast lane. It seems like all your efforts and abilities are paying off. There is little time or thought of God. Until you experience something extraordinary. Maybe it’s a blazing sunset, a profoundly moving worship experience, or an alarming crisis.

Been there, done that! In the good times, it’s so easy for me to forget my steps (and stops) are ordered by the Lord. But when my activity pushes God out of sight He also becomes out of mind.

In some ways, I can see myself in the life of Jacob (Genesis 27 and 28). After fooling his brother Esau out of his inheritance, Jacob was forced to flee for his life into the wilderness. That first night, all alone, he lay down to sleep with only a stone for a pillow.

In a dream, he saw heaven opened with a ladder reaching down to earth like a stairway with angels coming down to his aid. When he woke he said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was unaware of it.” (Genesis 28:16 ESV)

All his life Jacob had taken care of himself. He was clever and lived by his wits. He was ambitious and usually got what he wanted even if he had to ‘bend the rules’. For the most part, it never occurred to him that God might be involved in his life until he found himself in a desperate place. Now, for the first time, Jacob realized he was not a ‘self-made man’. His success was really due to God’s blessing in his life.  Overwhelmed with gratitude he prayed his second prayer to God saying, “Of all that You give me I will give a full tenth to You.” Genesis 28:22. (ESV)

Prayer that honors God flows from a heart that is deeply moved by a need for Him and a genuine sense of gratitude. It comes in recognition that I am not alone in life and that all I enjoy comes with the indelible fingerprint of God on it someplace. If only I take the time to see it.

Heavenly Father, forgive me for the way I often hurry through life. So many times it obscures Your presence from me. Thank You for reminding me that You are in my life and I pray for a growing awareness that You are always near and carefully working out your good plan in my life. Amen.

-Do you have a story about experiencing God through prayer?
-What is something that has inspired you in your prayer life?
-Can we pray with you about a challenge you are facing?

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