I am on a journey to narrow the gaps of unawareness of Christ's presence within me so that the truth of 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 can take root in my spirit and grow to fullness. "Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."
If it is God's will for me to rejoice always, pray without ceasing and give thanks in the midst of all of my circumstances, then I need a complete transformation of my heart, mind and will. I have sensed God urging me to make my life a prayer to live in such a way that a spirit of prayerfulness rooted in worship and gratefulness invades every moment.
"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me" (Gal. 2:20). What would it be like to have every moment filled with living out the amazing truth that He is in me and I am in Him? My whole life would be a constant prayer, for I would be in continual communion with the one I love, and who loves me more than I can ever comprehend. The issue, of course, is how to do this in a practical way in my daily living. To live my life as a continual prayer demands a battle with my flesh.
The Battle With Flesh
I have heard of people who have set alarms to draw themselves back into awareness of the presence of God. That seems like a good idea. But I have the Holy Spirit to remind me of all things. So I have begun to ask Him to infuse me with continual awareness. I know this is possible because I am not in the realm of the flesh, but in the realm of the Spirit, and the Spirit lives in me as Romans 8:9a tells me: "You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you."
The living Word of God, Jesus Christ, lives within me, and Scripture compels me to live my life in Him: "As you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him" (Col. 2:6). As rejoicing and thankfulness take root in my spirit, I will become equipped to offer my body as a living sacrifice for His sake.
"I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service of worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God" (Rom. 12:1-2).
As I ponder this, it seems the most practical thing I can do is to humbly and earnestly call upon the indwelling Spirit of God to meet me in every moment, mundane or significant, joyful or sad, peace-filled or fearful, quiet or filled with turmoil. He is God, and He lives within me!
Father, may I truly be transformed so that Your perfect will is shaped within me for the purposes of Your kingdom.
I offer this prayer as a pleasing sacrifice to the God who lives in me—a prayer for my everyday life.
Kim Butts is the co-founder of Harvest Prayer Ministries.
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