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Process of Prayer (Release): Refreshment for the Soul

December 29, 2010
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Process of Prayer – Refreshment for the Soul

Not long ago a group of friends gathered at my home for a Morning of Prayer. We shared one very important common desire: pursuing deeper communication and communion with God. This is the last of four posts outlining what we talked about as we prepared to step into His presence.

 STEP 4. RELEASE

 

When we have gone through the process of: remember, request, and rejoice, we will find that Releasing our concerns into His hands is almost an automatic “next step.”  Think with me about the way those first three steps prepare our hearts to trust Him enough to let go …   


1. Remember – When our minds pause and consider who He is, our confidence in His wisdom and power is revived and this causes us to rest in His purposes. Rather than trying to play His role in the universe (Creator, Redeemer, Rescuer, Judge, Blessed Controller), we play our own role (worshipper, repenter, rejoicer, desperate petitioner.) The whole of life is better paced when we remember who He is and who we are. 

 2. Request –  As is always the case, “seeing” the Lord in His rightful place as Almighty God will cause us to bend the knee to honor Him and align ourselves with Him. The act of requesting His forgiveness means that we have  a realistic view of our own wisdom and power in relationship to His. It would be fool hearted to do anything else at that point than release our own purposes and agendas and hold fast to His. 

3. Rejoice – The harmony of our communion with Him as we embrace His forgiveness is precious beyond words. That nearness to Him causes us to recall His past care for us, which brings a confident anticipation of what He will do in the future. As we rejoice looking backward and anticipate looking forward, our expectations are fully placed in Him as we release our needs and concerns into His continuing care.

Once again, Scripture will remind us of Truth and help us to release. You might want to use a prayer journal to write down what comes to your mind when you ponder these passages of the Word …

            Heb 4:16 – Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.   

            Psalm 77:11-12 (10-15) – I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your wonders of old.  I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds.

            Isaiah 41:10 – Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

            Job 5:8-9 – But if it were I, I would appeal to God; I would lay my cause before Him. He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted. 


  As you linger in His presence to Release, take time to be specific and comprehensive in the scope of your conversation with Him. Being rushed or being too general can make this transfer step incomplete.

  

Recommendation: Refreshment of Prayer

1. Gather a few friends.

Warning: This intentional extended quiet time is not easy for us who live in a world where movement – even it’s only going in circles – is the norm. We are uncomfortable with quiet. This is unfortunate,  given the clear message to us from God in Isaiah 41:1 where we read, “Keep silence before me.”  and Psalm 46:10, “Be Still and know that I am God.”

 

2. Set aside half an hour to review the Process of Prayer.

3. Take at least an hour to be refreshed by actually participating in prayer and personal solitude in a quiet spot.  Helpful resources: Prayer Journal and Process of Prayer list (Remember, Request, Rejoice, Release), as well as your Bible, Calendar, Contact list or pictures, and a hymn book.  Solitary time is a precious gift that we can give to one another; be careful not to waste this time by imposing conversation on someone else.

 

4. Work your way through the Process of Prayer and see what God brings to you. George Herbert, English clergyman in the 1600’s, put it this way, “By all means use sometimes to be alone … to see what thy soul doth wear.”

 

5. Gather with your friends again and review how you have been refreshed by your time with the Lord.

 

Review Together:

1. Remember

Around the circle – Share characteristics of our Great God that came to your mind while you were alone with Him. 

 

2. Request

Poll questions:

             #1: How many of you would say that this is the hardest part of the process?

            #2: How many of you could explain from personal experience what John Owen meant by “making peace” with sin? (All of us can, but are we that willing to “confess to one another?”)

             #3: Which part of Micah 6:8 is the hardest for you to obey: do justly? love mercy? walk humbly?

 

3. Rejoice

Popcorn

            What did you rejoice over with the Lord this morning?

 

4. Release

Lean to the Left, Lean to the Right 

            Share something with the woman to your right or your left that you released to God in your time of solitude. Pray for one another.

 

5. And now …

Schedule your next Morning of Prayer – Write the names of 2-3 friends who you will invite to join you.



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