Day 11 of 40-Day Prayer Challenge
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”Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” Colossians 4:2
The Word watchful is a throwback to the Old Testament-era practice of sitting on a city wall and keeping watch. Watchmen were the first ones to see attacking armies or traveling traders. They had the best vantage point. They saw things no one else saw. They saw things before others saw them. And this is precisely what happens when we pray. We see things no one else sees. We see things before others see them. We become God’s watchmen.
Prayer is the difference between seeing with our physical eyes and seeing with our spiritual eyes. Prayer gives us a God’s-eye view. It heightens our awareness and gives us a sixth sense that enables us to perceive spiritual realities that are beyond our five senses.
Prayer turns us into first-class noticers. It helps us see what God wants us to notice. The more you pray, the more you notice; the less you pray, the less you notice. It’s as simple as that.
Let me explain how it works from a neurological perspective. There is a cluster of nerve cells at the base of our brain stem called the reticular activating system that monitors our environment. We are constantly bombarded by countless stimuli vying for our attention, and it is the job of the RAS to determine what gets noticed and what goes unnoticed. When you pray for someone or something, it creates a category in your RAS. You start noticing anything related to those prayers. Have you ever noticed that when you pray, coincidences happen? And when you don’t, they don’t. It’s more than coincidence; it’s providence. Prayer creates divine opportunities. But prayer also sanctifies the reticular activating system and enables you to see the God-ordained opportunities that are all around you all the time. And once you see them, you have to seize them.
We often think of prayer as nothing more than words spoken to God, but maybe it’s more than that. Prayer is not a monologue; it’s a dialogue. We speak to God with everything from words to groans to thoughts. And God speaks to us through dreams, desires, promptings, impressions, and ideas.
Some things cannot be perceived with the five senses; they can only be conceived by the Holy Spirit. Some things cannot be deduced via deductive reasoning; they can only be imagined by the Holy Spirit. Some things cannot be learned by logic; they can only be revealed by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit compensates for our sensory limits by enabling us to conceive of thing we cannot perceive with our five senses. The revelation of the Spirit gives us extra sensory perception. He helps us to see the invisible and heart the inaudible.
When we open our spiritual eyes, we start seeing God everywhere we look. We see the image of God in others. We see His fingerprints on His creation. We see God-ordained opportunities all around us all the time.
What to pray? That God would supply all the finances for those going to Haiti.
May 24, 2018