By Paige Hunt
Our desire is for you to discover a Christianity that is as natural as breathing, and completely well-suited to your humanity. This authentic faith can sometimes involve more unlearning than learning, and definitely more snuggling and cuddling in the arms of a generous Daddy, and less trying to impress God through fixed and formal “faith times”, which can, if done as a ‘work’ unnaturally divide the sacred and the secular. One of the ways that we so often distance ourselves from spiritual realities, making heaven somewhere ‘onwards and upwards’, rather than smack-bang in the centre of our humanity, is through prayer. Prayer quite often gets hijacked by religious groups who substitute hard-going, awkward formulas for intimate relationship with Daddy God. These groups focus on lack and difficulty, rather than on Daddy’s personalized love for us and the continual abundance of our inheritance with Christ.
Let’s dive hand-in-hand into an awareness of Daddy’s grace, and discover the truth about prayer.
- Prayer does not consist of getting something you don’t have. It is enjoying and engaging with your inheritance until it manifests in the natural.
Let’s start with a question: are your conversations with Daddy God anxiety-ridden and full of insecurity, or are they a delightful adventure of enjoying and engaging with the everlasting abundance of your spiritual inheritance? Philippians 4:6-8 addresses this beautifully.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things”.
These lovely verses make it clear that prayer does not have to be the language of worrying and whittling. Rather, authentic prayer is talking with our Daddy and thoroughly enjoying his abundant gift of grace. It fills us with a sense of ‘thanksgiving’ because we know that He’s already provided for us, and supplied our every need, even when we can’t see it with our physical eye just yet. As we enjoy engaging with Daddy’s love for us, we get overcome with a sense of peace, because, as Joseph Prince puts it:
“It is only a matter of time before your revelation of what you already have through the work of Christ brings forth the prosperity He has already blessed you with…My friend, expect prosperity in your life because you are already rich in Christ (2 Corinthians 8:9). So stop looking to your natural resources. Look to the cross and say, “Yes, Christ has made me rich! It is only a matter of time until I see His prosperity in my life” – Joseph Prince’ Destined to Reign devotional, Jan. 17th
Prayer is focusing our minds on Jesus’ love and grace, and experiencing the revelation of His all-sufficiency for us (Philippians 4:8). As we cuddle with Daddy and kiss His face by enjoying the truths of our inheritance, it creates a channel in our minds for this supernatural inheritance that we have in Christ to flow into the natural realm. Remember, we are already completely one with Christ (1 Corinthians 6:17), so prayer does not necessarily have to mean ‘talking to God’. Prayer is actually all about exchanging your thoughts for God’s, by reclining in His love for you and receiving ‘grace upon grace’ (Romans 5:17).
The Greek word for ‘requests’ in Philippians 4:6 is the word ‘aitēma’. It is the same word used within 1 John 5:15, which clearly tells us that we already have everything we request of God. Therefore, prayer always points us back to the all-sufficiency of Christ – that everything He is and has right now, we are and have (1 John 4:17). Thus, prayer can be seen as beautiful poetry flowing from the spirit of a child loved by Daddy, protected by Daddy, and doted on by Daddy. That child is you!
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. – Colossians 3:1-4
Christ is actually our life, and as we set our minds on this truth, it will manifest in the natural realm, and we will look glorious. This is the excitement of prayer! Through prayer, we can rest in Daddy’s nature of goodness, gentleness and love, even when we are struggling to grasp this good news in practical ways. We can pray by over-exaggerating Daddy’s goodness, because He is always better than our hyper-optimism. Hence, we can always have peace. Peace as used in Philippians 4:7 is the Greek word ‘eirēnē’. It literally means ‘tranquillity, security, safety, and prosperity’. We have all of these things because we are sitting comfortably on Daddy’s lap, enjoying our generous Daddy’s lavish gift-giving. Prayer is opening these presents of grace and love! It is us on tip-toes, staring into the heart of the toy store and knowing it is all ours freely, and we can simply go in and enjoy all of those gifts and blessings!
“For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope.” – Galatians 5:5
Here in Galatians, the excitement of being Daddy’s child is expressed. We are approaching Daddy with hope (a confident, positive expectation of good) because in the spirit we have everything we need, and as we enjoy this truth (‘by faith’), the righteous fruits and prosperity of our inheritance manifest into our natural lives and circumstances. This is why Peter says that the end result of what we are believing is ‘the salvation of our souls’ – in other words, the full manifestation of all of our spiritual inheritance (1 Peter 1:9). Philemon also says that our participation in the faith becomes ‘effective through knowing every good thing that is in us for the glory of Christ.’ (Philemon 1:6).
Prayer is an eager expectation, and an effective knowing, then! It is enjoying Daddy’s love and personalizing it so that we can engage with our spiritual reality and life.
“so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” – Ephesians 3:17-19
- Prayer is what is known throughout Scripture as ‘meditation’
No, I am not talking about the kind of meditation that other religions engage in. I am speaking about the Scriptural definition of Meditation, which is to ‘murmur, to mutter, to ponder, to be pensive, conceive, imagine, or utter out of the heart’. Now, we know that our faith always has an object – Jesus! We are in Christ, and everything He is and has, we are and have. Therefore, prayer is meditating on your inheritance in Jesus, and on Daddy God’s love, until you ‘know’ and ‘believe’ in that love so surely that your whole life is an adventure of hope – a prayer! (1 John 4:16).
Let’s engage with Daddy in prayer through relaxing and taking time to enjoy our inheritance and our righteousness in Jesus until we see it with our physical eye (1 Corinthians 2:12; 1 Corinthians 1:30). We want to be people who enjoy the life of God that we have in Jesus, because we have so much life! Prayer is emotionally wrapping yourself around your life in Christ and all of God’s promises (Colossians 3:3).
“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.” – 2 Corinthians 1:20
Jim Richards writes it this way:
“The Word is true for me because I am in Christ. He obtained it; He is my source. He is my qualification; outside of Him, pondering the promises is just positive thinking!…Faith in Jesus is faith in what was accomplished through His death, burial, resurrection, and subsequent inheritance that I now share with Him! I want to see, perceive, experience and grasp what I would look like, how my life would be, and what I would be feeling If I was experiencing that promise in my life at this moment…
Biblical meditation is when you think about, ponder, imagine, or consider any Biblical promise until you have all the emotions of it being true at this moment. Faith experiences the Word as if it is true right now.” – Jim Richards, Moving Your Invisible Boundaries, chapter 21.
Prayer, therefore, is imagination, intimacy, poetry, and enjoyment. I bet you’re discovering a desire to pray now!