To grow in the spiritual discipline of prayer, we must be steeped in the Word. We abide in Him, we abide in His word, we continue in it steadfastly, and pray. His Spirit dwelling in us urges us to cry out Abba, Father! Trying to compartmentalize the Christian life has led many to a shipwrecked faith.
Read, journal through these verses, pray; and enjoy the urging of the Spirit who is your Teacher and Helper. True prayer is not merely sitting alone in your own thoughts, it is to be in communion with God as He has revealed Himself.
From John Owen, Communion with God, page 68-69:
This will be exceeding effectual to endear your soul to God, to cause you to delight in him, and to make your abode with him. Many saints have no greater burden in their lives, than that their hearts do not come clearly and fully up, constantly to delight and rejoice in God–that there is still an indisposedness of spirit to close walking with him. What is at the bottom of this distemper? Is it not their unskilfulness in or neglect of this duty, even of holding communion with the Father in love? So much as we see of the love of God, so much shall we delight in him, and no more. Every other discovery of God, without this, will but make the soul fly from him; but if the heart be once much taken up with this eminency of the Father’s love, it cannot choose but be overpowered… exercise your thoughts upon this very thing, the eternal, free, and fruitful love of the Father…Sit down a little at the fountain, and you will quickly have a farther discovery of the sweetness of the streams.
As you read through each passage listed below, read slowly. Use the words to form your prayers. What about the Father can you exalt? What about His love can you praise, and admire?
What about His love do you long to experience today, afresh? What wounds can His love be the balm to heal? What are you perplexed about, and how can His love remind you to despair not?
These verses speak directly to the Father’s love, and as Owen encourages us, the more we abide in these words, the more fully we taste of His sweetness and His refreshment.
1 John 3:1; 4:16
Jeremiah 31:3; John 6:45
Hosea 11:4; Leviticus 26:13; John 6:44
Malachi 1:2; Romans 8:14-18
Psalm 36:10! (hesed!).
May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the steadfastness of Christ.2 Thessalonians 3:5