Prepared in Advance: Reflections on Experiencing God
It’s long been my intention to read my Bible regularly. Although it varies at times, I usually read from beginning to end at the daily pace the Lord indicates, noting the application of what seems significant through the practice of journaling. In this way, over the years, I’ve developed a comfortable familiarity with the Scriptures and a conversational relationship with the Holy Spirit.
Last August, while reading in II Peter 1, my journaling led to the composition of a prayer. At the time, I did not record any thoughts connecting the passage or the prayer to any particular circumstances. I saved it in my computer files and, basically, forgot about it.
Recently, I was sending something of a business nature in the mail to a son-in-law. As I prepared the mailing, I thought about a tricky employee situation he was dealing with at work, and I had a very strong impression that I should include the prayer I had written months ago, with this caveat, “I will pray this prayer over your employee every day for the next month.” This was the time period in which the employee would need to display the improvement necessary to remain employed. I also printed a copy of the prayer and posted it on our fridge to remind me to pray, substituting the person’s name in place of the personal pronouns written into the prayer. Probably ten days went by when a text came, “Mom, the employee has done a complete turnaround!”
Based on what happened, I realized that the Holy Spirit, through the instrument of Scripture and specific time devoted to reading and meditating upon it, created a prayer through me six months in advance of when I would need it for a very specific purpose that He had in mind! Through the effort put into knowing God through his Word, I experienced His very hands-on and personal activity in my life, my son-in law’s life, and the life of a virtual stranger who needed to keep her job.
What an amazing and loving God! He has done everything necessary for “our life and godliness” who enables us to “participate in the divine nature” (as II Peter 1:3,4 puts it)! This is what He invites us into when we come to faith in Him. This is normal Christian life.
Our Lord relates very personally with each of us, but since I believe that the Holy Spirit inspired this prayer, I simply share it if it can be a blessing. Perhaps you will pray for yourself or someone else more often by using it to initiate that. Perhaps you will read your Bible more regularly, and understand what the Lord is saying to you more clearly. Perhaps you will recognize more fully the Lord’s unique call on your life.
I have titled this "My Morning Prayer," but use it at any time of day.
My Morning Prayer
Through the total surrender of yourself…body, soul and spirit…you took my sin to the cross where you overcame the power of death and were revived by the power of the Holy Spirit. My sinful nature died with you there, so I ask you to also revive my body and heal it from the effects of sin. Renew my mind, will and emotions and drive from my soul confusion, foolishness, self determination, fear, anger, and unforgiveness. Fill me with your Holy Spirit and help me to read and understand your word, that I may think with your mind, choose with your heart, and receive comfort and guidance from your Holy Presence living within me. Thank you, Lord. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Here are a few other Scripture references expressing these same ideas:
Romans 6:6-14 and 8:1-16 (much of Romans 5-8)
Colossians 1:21-23; 3:1-17
Hebrews 10:1-25 (the Second Lesson from our Good Friday service)
No time to read your Bible? Download YouVersion or other online Bible apps to read while waiting in carpool lines or at the Doctor’s office. Need a Bible reading plan? There are lots online, but a short and helpful book in its third printing is How to Study the Bible for Yourself, by Tim LaHaye. New and used copies are available for purchase online or order from Barnes & Noble. Call me if you need help!