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A Daily Prayer
I’m starting to realize something I’ve known for a long time, if that makes sense. Prayer is not something that is just good to do. Prayer is not something that is needed from time to time. Prayer is our lifeblood. Constant communication with our Creator is the key to our existence. Period. End of story.
Saying that, I ran across of couple of amazing prayers in A.W. Tozer’s “The Pursuit of God” (yes, him again). I have been praying these daily and have listed them below. What would our world look like if we all prayed these types of prayers continually?
A prayer from Ch. 1 – The Pursuit of God
Following Hard After God
O God, I have tasted Thy goodness and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need for further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy Glory, I pray Thee, so that I know thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, “Rise up my love, my fair one, and come away.” Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from the misty lowland where I have wandered so long. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
A Prayer from Ch. 4 – The Pursuit of God
O God, quicken to life every power within me, that I may lay hold on eternal things. Open my eyes that I may see; give me acute spiritual perception; enable me to taste Thee and know that Thou art good. Make the heaven more real to me than any earthly thing has been. Amen.
Who I Am, Who I Want To Be
I’ve been reading a lot of Tozer’s work recently (A.W. Tozer). I’m currently working on his big 3: The Pursuit of God, God’s Pursuit of Man and The Knowledge of The Holy. I normally binge read books like these and retain about half of what I’ve read (half may be pushing it). I’m taking a different approach this time around. I’m reading at the breathtaking pace of one chapter per day.
I know… I’m living on the edge!
It’s amazing how much easier it is to reflect on and apply at this pace. I think a lot of us humanoids fall into this trap. We tend to consume, consume, consume with not a lot to show for it at the end of our consuming. We have so many outlets we can gather information from and we often gather for the sake of gathering, without any time to reflect on or apply to our situations. I hope this new reading plan will slowly seep over into other areas of my life. What a different community we would be if we took the time to reflect on and apply to more often.
If A.W. Tozer were a “self-help” guru I think his self-help book would only be one sentence: “Get Rid Of Self!” He tends to side step the psychobabble and gets right to the heart of the matter. His “Rules of Self Discovery” are a prime example. These “Rules” tend to shine an unflattering light on the person you actually are. If you are like me, it also produces a frightening portrait of who I am not. The person I am and the person I want to be don’t seem to align like I thought they did. Although this process hasn’t been the most pleasant experience, it sure has increased my compassion for others. When I know I don’t have it all together, it is sure easy for me to love you when you don’t have it all together. I think that is the essence of being a follower of Christ. These “Rules” have also changed my prayer life. I’m less like the Pharisee praying, “Oh Look at all I have done, Lord!” and more like the Tax Collector praying, “Oh what a wretched sinner am I, Lord!”.
DISCLAIMER: Continue reading at your own risk. You may not like what you see in the mirror, but sometimes that is the first step to becoming who God created you to be. My former pastor in Dallas calls it The Spin Cycle of Success:
Change, Then Conflict, Then Growth.
A.W. Tozer’s “Rules of Self Discovery”
1. What I want most
2. What I think about most
3. How I spend my money
4. What I do with my leisure time
5. The company I enjoy
6. Who and what I admire
7. What do I laugh at