In 1 Thessalonians 5: 16 we are told to, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” We are to pray without ceasing or all the time. Our conversation with God should start when we awake and continue until we go to bed. I get up at 5: 30. The first thing out of my mouth is, “Good morning, Father.” This begins my conversation with the Lord for that day. This type of prayer is daily communication. We talk to God about what’s going on and about the daily happenings.
This type of prayer is light and easy. We can do it anytime and anywhere. We don’t have to allocate time to do it because it can be done in the car, in the kitchen, at the grocery, while on a walk, and so on. This is the prayer that is to be done at all times. It’s a constant communion with the Father. And then there is another type of prayer, a deeper kind which is found in the secret place of dwelling in the Lord.
Psalm 91: 1 says, “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” The Hebrew word for dwell is yashab and means to sit down in quiet with and settle into. The word for secret is cether and means to hide by covering. If we dwell in the covered place of God, we shall abide under His shadow. It means that He will protect us. This doesn’t mean that nothing bad will ever happen to us, but rather that God will take care of us through it.
The dwelling is the key to deeper prayer. In this place of deep prayer we find ourselves sitting down in quiet with God and settling into His presence. This type of prayer requires more of us. It won’t do to sit down in quiet with God in the grocery or on a walk. And so, we must create or find time for this kind of prayer. In addition to this, we find that our minds wander when we try and sit in quiet with God. And so, we must cultivate self-control. We need to reign our minds back in to focus on God in these times.
This type of dwelling prayer takes time and effort on our part…but the rewards are great. We must wait in this place…wait on God, wait for our minds to get quiet, and wait for the peace to come. If we persist and enter into this deeper place of prayer, we will meet God on a new and deeper level. It’s in these places that the Holy Spirit can minister to our own hearts in a truly special way.
Personally, I have found that going deeper with God in this area of prayer has yielded revelation into the Word, a deeper understanding of God’s character , a more intimate walk with Jesus, a further working of the Holy Spirit within me, a leading into intercessory prayer for others, and peace. All of these things are beautiful.
But, we must remember as we enter into this deeper place of prayer that our goal is not to receive the benefits of prayer, but rather our goal is God. Our eyes are fixed upon Jesus Christ. He is our prize. In these areas of going deeper with the Lord, the purpose is to know Him more. May we say along with Paul that our goal is, “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death” (Philippians 3: 10).