February 10, 2019

Seek First: Prayer, the Heart of Relationship

Seek First: Prayer, the Heart of Relationship

Prayer: The Heart of Relationship
I want to touch on a few, tangible, practical ways we can seek first the kingdom of God through prayer:

It’s about making it personal.
It’s about the yes.
What keeps us from relationship?

Making it Personal
David is known as a man after God’s own heart. That’s a pretty personal statement. The thing I want to touch on today is how David talked to God. In essence, how he prayed.

I love you, Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I have been saved from my enemies. The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears. Psalm 18:1-6 (NIV)

This is so personal. My question to you is, is this what your prayers to God look like?
How do we learn from David and make our prayers personal?
Go through a psalm and read it out loud.
Put your name in the psalm, and replace God with ‘you’.
This makes it so personal because you are taking it from David and God in the past, to You and God who is present with you right in the moment.
After that, I then go through and thank God for each of these things.
Even if it hasn’t happened in your life yet, even if it is hard to see if He is moving in these areas. It is true to who He is, and I we thankful for that, so I tell Him.

It’s about the Yes.
Seeking first the kingdom of God through prayer comes out of an expression of love. 1 Corinthians 13.

What Holds Back Relationship?
“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:21-24 (NIV)
Why is that important? The place you would meet with God was in the temple.
Prayer, through relationship is an intimate place to meet God.
“I am your shield, your very great reward.” Gen 15:1
What I was receiving in forgiveness was restored intimacy with God.
It is because of relationship we know we need to forgive, and it is for relationship we want to forgive.
Seeking first is: about making it personal, your yes, and the motivation of your yes, and continuing to forgive to keep the relationship strong.
Homework: to seek first is to make it personal. Take a psalm, read through it, put your name in it and thank God for who He is. If God brings up someone you need to forgive, work through it with Him. If you need help, reach out to someone.