Today's Word of Encouragement from Wayne:
"But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close the door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you"
Entering God’s presence "with an attitude of thanksgiving" will always keep you alert. Alert to what? Alert to God, to His presence, His power, His provision, and above all, to His Person. Without thanksgiving, without being alert to what is really happening, one’s prayer life can easily devolve into a self-centered expression of worry and doubt. Genuine thanksgiving is always and only about our gracious God. While many people’s style may be to say, "here I am to pray and praise you" (unknowingly encouraging more self-centeredness), the more alert style is to say, "LORD here YOU are and I praise YOU and make my requests known to YOU with joy in YOUR presence."
It’s really not about us, as if we were still separate beings from God. It is truly all about our God, and our relationship with our God, being one with Him, as His beloved children, new creations in Jesus Christ, a kingdom of priests to our God, entering His presence with joy, because He is alive, and inside, and reigning in our hearts. When you pray and worship, I encourage you to lose the "here I am to worship" mentality and instead step up to alertness with a distinct and profound "Here YOU are to worship" understanding and faith. Your prayer life will gain greater devotion, consistency, joy, and power when you allow yourself the blessing of "keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving."
Thanksgiving is our new response, because we have been "born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" (1 Peter 1:3), and we now have a life in the Spirit. Yes, cultivate the attitude of gratitude. "Enter His gates with thanksgiving" (Psalm 100:4) and realize that praise and thanksgiving always keeps you alert, and lifted up, and aware of your God’s presence, love, and His power to answer prayer. Hallelujah!
Perhaps you have read these words of Jesus, from the sermon on the mount, many times. Read them and understand them now as a minister to the Lord. Right away we realize that the "inner room" is not necessarily the traditional "prayer closet" that so many think it is, although having a specific spot for prayer can be beneficial. What our Savior said was "when you pray, go into your inner room." Your inner room is the room within you, the inner court of the temple where we minister to the Lord. In other words, "your inner room" is always within you and is, therefore, always immediately accessible for prayer and adoration "in secret," just for you and your God.
An inner court prayer understanding brings you into the presence of God even as you pray. Yesterday we saw a scripture encouraging us to pray, "keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving" (Col. 4:2). When we pray we need to be alert as to what is actually happening in the Spirit. It’s not about us getting into a dark lonely corner of a building and saying, "well it’s me again God." Rather, being alert in prayer with thanksgiving is all about recognizing Whom we are praying to and, therefore, entering His presence with awareness, gratitude and devotion. "Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise" (Psalm 100:4). When you "go into your inner room" and enter God’s presence, instead of thinking "Here I am, it’s me again" I strongly encourage you instead to realize and confess "Here You are. I am seeking You Lord. It’s not about me. It’s all about You. I Praise Your name."
Learn to see "Your inner room" exactly as "the inner court," the place where we go to minister to the Lord, Who definitely is always here, "In secret" with us. The inner room is all about our state of being in oneness with our God. "Your inner room" is the "secret" place within you, the inner court of the temple, where you and Abba Father share divine fellowship. And, your "inner room" blessing is in knowing that "your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you." Oh yes, "go into your inner room" now. Hallelujah!