Well, we have done it!
We have finally reached the core layer of this four part series.
If you need to reread, or if this is your first time here, check out the previous layers.
Core Of Prayer
This layer is the innermost one. It is the most delicate, the most vulnerable, and the most intimate with God. Within this part of our soul, not one thing is held back to our Lord. It is here, within the four corners of our heart, we reach out to God. Completely.
We can only reach this form of prayer by being imitators of Christ.
(NLT) Ephesians 5:1-2, “Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are His dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered Himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.”
Reaching Out Prayer
1. Within our soul, we have formed trust with Him. We have bonded in a way no man can take away or shatter. We earnestly seek Him, His word, and trust His Spirit. We believe He has a plan for us and that we are not forgotten. Everything spoken comes directly from the heart with sincerity. We feel the Lord near us. We know He hears us.
2. Our relationship with God has a history. Even if we are just starting out, we have begun to see the Lord act in ways of faith. The foundation on which we stand cannot be torn down.
3. Acknowledgment to God is abundant in our life. We have begun to experience a contentment the God gives us through His promise of the unseen. The closer we get to Him, the more we see the small blessings of Him in our life. Perhaps even the ones we already had, but missed noticing.
4. Requesting in prayer is everything. We are focused on asking, seeking, and knocking for Him to open doors or keep them shut. We desire healing beyond ourselves, and answers for others as well. We ask for His hand to be upon us. We desire to know His calling for our lives.
5. Worship to God is anywhere. No fears of what people think when we are this connected to Him. Our focus is purely on Him. Therefore, there is no holding back.
Unlike the last layer, it is God and us in prayer. We come to Him in secret often so no other eyes are on us. We can approach Him with confidence. He is our Father, our Teacher, our Shepherd, and our Friend.
(BSB) Ephesians 3:12, “In Him and through faith in Him we may enter God’s presence with boldness and confidence.”
Even Strong Christians Can Have Weak Prayer
It’s possible to have a strong relationship with Christ, but weak prayer time with Him. Sometimes, like in the first layer, we get too tired or too busy. That’s our excuse anyway.
This can happen when we only use church for God time. It’s Not About Church
Sometimes something happens in our life that makes our faith rocky. This tends to relate to anything usually with the unseen or uncertain, especially scary stuff. We don’t like facing the truth, and speaking to God about it because it makes the truth that much more real. But it is crucial we do so.
Working through the hard parts with God in our life is needed. The experiences that come from this are life changing. We will be strengthened through Him.
Strength In Following Christ’s Example
(BSB) Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
We will begin to see more of His works in our life. We will become a different person. We will be Christ like.
And all of that starts with prayer. We need to achieve this type of prayer, and daily.
Jesus prayed daily and He used prayer before making decisions.
(ES) Luke 6:12, “In these days He went out to the mountain to pray, and all night He continued in prayer to God.”
(NLT) Matthew 14:23, “After sending them home, He went up into the hills by Himself to pray. Night fell while He was there alone.”
Purpose Of Trials
Prayer is needed because it is the main connection between us and God. We can hear Him through His Word, but He needs to hear us as well. Trials will come into our life and we can either be strengthened by them or torn away from Christ.
Perseverance Comes From Faith
(NIV) James 1: 2-4, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
We are being told that we can only become mature and complete through perseverance. But we can’t achieve perseverance unless our faith is tested. And we can only be tested through trials. The scripture thereafter explains how we can go through these trials.
(NIV) James 1:5-6, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”
Doubt Stumbles Prayer
When trials in our life happen, we won’t understand (lack wisdom). Therefore, we need to go to God in prayer. God promises here He gives generously, He will answer. But the scripture warns He won’t help if there are faults. What kind of faults?
Well, it could mean a matter of things. But the scripture is pretty clear on one particular fault, and perhaps this is the most important key to remember.
(NIV) James 1:06, “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt.”
Doubt will not increase our faith. Faith is an action. Faith comes from God, and our relationship with Him. Doubt comes from us.
Purpose Of Layers Of Prayer
So what is the point of all the layers? Well, the first two types of prayer 1 & 2 refer to prayer outside of a relationship with Christ. We are going through the motions, it’s focused on the act of prayer. And yes, even those of us with a relationship with Christ can still have these types of prayers. especially when…you guessed it…we simply go through the motions or the mere appearance of what it means to be in a relationship.
Layers 1-3 all carry either a sense of self righteousness, (NIV) Matthew 6:05, “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.”
Or they carry a sense of doubt.
We know from just moments ago that we can’t have doubt in a relationship with Christ. This is why the fourth layer is so important, this level of intimacy is a form of faith. The intimate connection we have with Him reveals the truth.
The more we continue to pray to God daily, the more He reveals trust and confidence in us so that we can go to Him boldly. He shows us how to be Christ like, and He helps us prosper through trials. Prayers makes a world of difference.
What Is Our Layer?
So we must ask ourselves, “Where am I at with Christ in prayer?”
Whether we give that to the Lord in our relationship (Layers 3 & 4) or keep a facade with Him (Layers 1 & 2) it is up to us.
~T. R. Noble
(All images used are from Pixabay)