My New Year’s Resolution for 2014 is only this: “I resolve to deepen my relationship with God.” All other resolutions will be guided by God. Earlier this year, I wrote about a prayer by Robin Van Cleef which has guided me so well.
Lord, I sense my need of you; yet — I am not quite sure how to reach you.
I heard someone say, ‘Read your Bible.’
But too often the words are like bullets that ricochet off my brain.
I heard someone say, ‘Pray.’
But my prayers, hurled heaven ward, fall back to earth like lifeless stones.
I heard someone say, ‘Meditate.’
But my wandering mind was lost in a desert of random thoughts.
Trying to deepen my relationship with God isn’t easy. There are so many distractions such as watching TV or checking email or Facebook or the newspaper. At times, Prayer and Meditation is a stimulating journey of fresh discoveries while other times I wonder: “Is anyone listening?
Prayer should be a daily delight where you feel bathed in the very presence of God. But prayer can also be a desperate plea for a lifeline to help you climb from the deep dark depths. Many times my prayer life is more a day by day ‘stick-to-it’ discipline. But, there could be so much more:
Lord, speak to me through your Word.
Let it penetrate my mind and my heart.
Lord, speak to me through Prayer,
and turn the lifeless stones to bread.
Lord, speak to me in my Meditation,
that I may see, amid life’s wilderness:
The way, the truth and the life.
Spiritual growth seldom happens naturally. There is an investment of time and energy. But God speaks to us through the Word. Imagine God’s Word penetrating our minds and hearts? How exciting to think that through our prayers, God is turning lifeless stones into bread. How comforting to know that when I meditate, God will help me see amid life’s wilderness.
Someone asked the famous Christian writer, Philip Yancey: “Philip, do you ever just let God love you? It’s pretty important I think.”
He realized with a start that she had brought a light to a gaping hole in his spiritual life. For all his absorption in the Christian faith, Yancey realized he had missed the most important message of all. Jesus is the story of a celebration, a story of love. It involves pain and disappointment, yes, for God as well as for us. But Jesus embodies the promise of a God who will go to any length to get his family back.
- Don’t be impatient for the Lord to act! Travel steadily along His path. He will honor you. (Psalm 38:34)
- So think clearly and exercise self-control. Look forward to the special blessings that will come. (1 Peter 2:13)
- Pray at all times and on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. Stay alert and be persistent. (Ephesians 6:18)
Here is what I am learning so far about deepening my relationship with God. Don’t be impatient. Travel steadily. Think clearly and exercise self-control. Pray at all times. God promises to honor you. Look forward to special blessings. Pray at all times and on every occasion. Remember you are not alone, you are praying in the power of the Holy Spirit. Stay alert. Be persistent.
My 2014 New Year’s Resolution: I resolve to deepen my relationship with God. Lord, speak to me through your Word. Let it penetrate my mind and my heart. Lord, speak to me through Prayer, and turn the lifeless stones to bread. Lord, speak to me in myMeditation that I may see, amid life’s wilderness: The way, the truth and the life.