A mentor of mine was recently challenging me about my prayer and devotional life. He was encouraging me to take time to really listen to what God is wanting to speak to me. In John 10:27, Jesus says, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”
This mentor of mine was sharing how much God has been speaking to him since he has made it more of a priority to be still and listen. Needless to say, I was challenged in a fresh way to go deeper in prayer.
This desire to position myself to hear what God wants to say to me has required some changes in my life. I have decided to make some specific sacrifices in order to make sure that I am seeking first the Kingdom of God and that I am keeping my ear open to hear from Him. One of these changes has been an early morning prayer-walk.
Since I have four young children at home, the option to sleep in hasn’t really been on the table for about 8 years now. For some reason, my children are like biological alarm clocks, and they always wake up early. As a result, my days start at 6 a.m. whether I want them to or not.
Although I’m almost always up super early, I have not recently been in the habit of seeking the Lord in a focused way each morning. I knew this is one area of my life that needed an adjustment.
All that to say, I have now decided that when my alarm clock goes off at 5:55, that I need to be out the door and away from the distractions of my home in order to seek first His Kingdom. It’s early enough that people aren’t out yet, which provides me the freedom to walk around a quiet neighborhood and pray. It has been refreshing to say the least.
As I was walking and talking to the Lord this morning, I decided to read John 1. As I read what is a very familiar passage to me, I was hoping for something new. In verse 16 of the chapter I read, “For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.”
The phrase grace upon grace seemed to jump out at me. As I studied that word out, lo and behold, I discovered something new! The word grace in this verse is the Greek word charis. After looking into the meaning of charis, I discovered this definition:
Charis: the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life.
I had never before thought of grace in those terms: as the divine influence upon the heart, resulting in the divine reflection in one’s life. When I would previously pray for grace for myself or for someone else, I typically had God’s kindness or mercy in mind. This definition bore down to something much deeper than I had previously considered.
Immediately I began to pray for this grace in my own life. That out of the fullness of Jesus, he would give me grace upon grace. I prayed that, through his fullness, he would touch my heart in such a way that produces his reflection in my life.
I am believing God will answer this prayer for grace in my life. I believe that as I better position myself to hear from Him, He will touch my heart in a fresh way. And in that place, I will better reflect Jesus to my family, my church and the world around me.
I encourage you to join me in praying grace upon grace in your own life and in the lives of your brothers. Through that prayer and out of Jesus’ fullness, may He influence our hearts and reflect Himself through us. I believe that is a prayer God would love to answer for all of us!