Written By: Clarissa Mangaran
Up until the middle of November, I am on fire for Christ, studying His Word, listening to sermons, having regular fellowship to discuss the things of the Lord, etc. But it isn’t long before holiday parties, and Christmas movies (of the Hallmark sort), and my kids’ birthday parties, and hosting family, and holiday festivities/activities take over. As a result, my time with God wanes. Not surprisingly, with the sheer amount of things going on in just a few months by the time January rolls around, I feel burnt out and distant from the One I long to be closest to.
Right now, after a few months of not passionately pursuing the Lord, I’m finding it extremely difficult to get the momentum going again to get back into God’s Word. Fervent prayer is a struggle for me. To be honest, praying, in general, is a struggle for me right now. And although my pursuit of God has waned, His pursuit of me has not. Our church started a series at the beginning of the year called Vision 2020, which God has been using to remind me of the vision He has given me for the future of our family.
Last week the message was about how God awakens us through our prayers. At a time when I feel like I’m in a rut and all I want to do is mentally “veg out,” He gently reminds me how to get my fire burning for Him again. Prayer. Consistent prayer. Whether you feel like you need to or not.
“He awakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.” Isaiah 50:4
Through prayer, we can tap into that awakening. And I’m definitely in need of an awakening. I need a fire lit under me to get me going again with continuously seeking time with God. There is much to be said about being in the presence of the Lord. It’s a feeling that cannot be described by mere words. He sustains me. He brings peace and quiets my heart and mind like nothing else.
“In Your presence is fullness of joy.” Psalm 16:11
So why is it so easy to get distracted from spending time in God’s Word and in prayer? Why does it feel like it takes so much effort to get focused and start pursuing Him again? It can be so frustrating. But every day is a new day and a fresh start. I love that.
In Exodus 17: 8-13, the Amalekites attacked the people of Israel. Moses went up on a hill, and as long as he held up his hands with the staff of God, the Israelites prevailed, but when Moses lowered his hands, the Amalekites prevailed. With the help of Aaron and Hur, Moses was able to keep his hands up until the battle was won. What happened on the hill directly affected what was happening in the valley on the battlefield. I think the same is true for us today. The way we pray and spend time with God in the “mountain tops” moments will affect how we will do in the valleys. That was just what I needed to hear.
While I’m not necessarily in a “mountain top” season, I’m definitely not in a “valley.” I am motivated to get focused on my time with the Lord, knowing that my prayer life right now will directly impact how well I do when a battle does comes – because it will. It’s easier to be in fervent prayer when life is hard, and each day is a struggle. But when life is relatively calm and steady, it can be easy to lose sight of the One who is blessing me with said “calm and steady” season, as well as my desperate need for Him.
So if you’re on fire for the Lord and constantly spending time in His presence, keep it up! You’re giving your spirit what it needs the most. If you’re like me, and it’s been a while since you’ve prayed fervently, just remember that He hasn’t stopped passionately pursuing you. And your prayer life today will greatly impact how you handle future battles. Be encouraged today is a new opportunity to turn back to our loving Father! He can’t wait to hear from you!