This week at Laid Down Life, we have set our focus on the topic of intentional prayer. The Lord longs to hear from you. He has planted the seeds of your desire. He has bestow gifts upon you. And created you in His image to live out His calling on your life. When you respond with your specific requests, it is evidence of your acknowledgement of these gifts and your willingness to come into alignment with His calling. It's not selfish. On the contrary, it is an act of gratitude, love, and obedience.
Throughout this series, we have explored (or will explore) six areas in which His Presence is the key ingredient to both forming your request and receiving a response to your request. (Just for the record, His Presence is the key ingredient to everything.)
1) His Calling on your life. Whether you are requesting revelation as to what your calling is or what the next step is, the road is never easy. In the beginning, it is filled with excitement and promise. But as you trudge along behind Jesus, you will climb mountains and endure valleys, allowing your heart to be filled with anxiety and doubt. Do not be overcome. He is with you. Do not give up. He holds your right hand. Society encourages by telling you to "press through". Instead, press in.
2) His Presence in your city - transforming your community through partnership with Christ. Our communities are under siege. But we must remember that we are the offense, not the defense. It is not too late to take back our communities. Whether, for you, that is your city as a whole or your church, workplace, or classroom; decide today to reach beyond yourself. Ask yourself, where can I be of service? How can I be of help? Where can I lighten someone else's load? Where can I bend a listening ear? Where can I be a reflection of Christ?
3) Spiritual Disciplines - Those practices which allow you to remove the distractions of life and to come fully into His Presence. Obviously, one of my top picks is Holy Yoga. In the quiet, dark space of the classroom, the outside world is forced to wait. You find peace in your mind and body, opening yourself up to the Holy Spirit and allowing the Lord to do His work in you. Mercy and grace are revealed, and healing takes place. Some days you are brought to tears, others to laughter. But you always find yourself in His Presence.
4) Spiritual Gifts vs. Natural Talents and Acquired Abilities. 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 reveals to us the spiritual gifts of wisdom, knowledge, faith, healings, miracles, prophecy, distinguishing between spirits, tongues, interpretation of tongues. Add to those, these listed in Romans 12:6-8, prophecy, serving, teaching, exhortation, giving, leadership, mercy. (See also 1 Corinthians 12:28, Ephesians 4:11, and 1 Peter 4:11). Some of these gifts are more supernatural in essence and others more practical. It's easy to find some of these characteristics and attributes within yourself. And some are impossible to imagine. God has planted your gifting deep within you. Through intentional prayer, you can ask the Lord to begin to uncover that gifting, to develop it and show you how to use it. Combine your spiritual gift (gift of the Spirit) with your natural talents (gifts from God), your acquired abilities (gifts to yourself), and salvation (gift from Jesus); and you have a recipe for greatness. You have the keys to the Kingdom. You have everything you need to walk into freedom and into the fullness of who God created you to be.
5) Self Care - Mind, Body, and Spirit; and 6) His Presence - Pure & Simple. At first glance, these appear to be two separate topics. Referring to self care as those practices which strengthen, renew, and heal you physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. The Lord quickly revealed that self care cannot be achieved without the willingness to surrender into His presence. This is where ALL things are revealed. You can read book after book, article after article, blog post after blog post about self care (and self help, for that matter), but you cannot develop a plan that will produce the fruit that only the Spirit can. My self care practices will not be the same as yours. What I need is quite different from what you need because the Lord handcrafted us like the stars, no two resembling one another. Surrender into His presence and form your intentional prayer; ask the Lord to reveal your own personal method for self care. Your mind, body, and spirit will thank you.
7) In the final class of this series, we bring all of the these areas together. My hope for every student, as well as myself, is that we will be able to create a clear request to the Lord for provision and guidance, as we move forward toward our destiny in alignment with His will. That we will gain clarity regarding our partnership with Him and where we can be of service in our community. That He will reveal our gifts and talents and show us how to develop and use them. That we would become aware of the importance of taking care of our own body, mind, and spirit in order to more accurately reflect Christ. That we would decide to grant ourselves the time and the grace to implement a spiritual practice that allows us to come more fully into His presence.
If you are not already a member of our Facebook group page, you can request to join by visiting https://www.facebook.com/groups/LaidDownLifeYoga/. I will soon be posting resources that I used to develop this series.
Having trouble making time for yourself to come into His presence? Or still not sure how? If you live in the Springfield, Missouri area, I encourage you to join us live in class to experience everything the Lord has waiting in this space JUST FOR YOU.
With love and gratitude,