Change of Spirituality
“This then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”- Matthew 6:9-10
Last week someone posed a question in our “Going Deeper” small group that changed the topic focus, discussion, and thinking when it comes to our spiritual practices and disciplines. The profound inquiry was this, “When I pray, should I be using the different names of God found in the Bible?” Their reasoning had to do with both the common/familiar use of God in other religions, but also a deeper desire for there to be a holiness, newness, and intimacy when engaging their faith. I loved the idea of a fresh approach being proposed and processed. Ephesians 3:12 tells us, “In Jesus and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.”
From that conversation it became clear that in our attempts to connect, worship, and even understand God, we tend to limit these areas based on past functions and definitions. We view OIL as symbolic by the anointing the head while making a cross shape with our finger, even though Biblical instruction includes it as a healing agent (Isaiah 1:6 and James 5:16). We view LIFTING HANDS as an expression to be done during times of singing praise, even though it is also associated with prayer. In 1 Timothy 2:8 Paul states, “Therefore I want men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.” These are just two examples of how we can limit our faith practices to what we have been taught and observed. No wonder why the religious leaders in Jesus’ day got stuck and bent out of shape on things like the sabbath, fasting, and washing of hands!
The desire for THE NEW is not borne out of a fad, “flavor of the month” mentality, or the need of added stimulants to keep us engaged or energized. Approaching Father God with multiple expressions of worship allows us to encounter and appreciate the fullest dimension of His glory, truth, love, and power. In Psalm 16:11 King David declares, “You make known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand.”
Let me encourage you to try the new when you:
· Addressing God by the many names found in the Bible.
· Beginning your prayer time by simply giving Him thanks or glory.
· Finding a new physical place to spend your prayer time.
· In addition to singing, include a physical posture to worship (i.e.- kneeling, lifting hands, dancing).
· Sing a “new song” from your heart. Allow words to flow from your heart through your lips, either from your native tongue or the language you received from the Holy Spirit.
· Find a hymn or worship song that is to be an anthem for your life to sing regularly in this season.
3) BIBLE READING-
· Instead of reading a set order/number of chapters, choose a WORD that you want to focus on (i.e.- peace, joy, strength) and find verses on that topic.
· Keep a notepad beside you as you read to write down any question(s) you have, things that stand out/bring encouragement, or insights you receive.
· Memorize one scripture a week by declaring it regularly each day.