My relationship, my spiritual relationship, with God is based on the six great themes of the Bible: love, humility, gratitude, trust, obedience and service; all of which are founded on the underlying concept of surrender. All the themes, one way or another, are brought to life, they’re empowered by surrender, to God and to other people. In a supernatural way, this is the attitude of Jesus that flows through us when we surrender to Him.
When I pray, I usually begin by ‘praying through the themes’ one at a time, as they relate to me and my relationship with God. Every time, I see something new about how I should love God; humble myself before Him; be thankful for all the ways He blesses me; renew my trust in Him as it relates to all my other relationships, my cares and my troubles; confess my failures in obedience and renew my commitment to do His will and not mine, to have His attitude and not mine; and as my act of service, to deny myself, die to myself, and follow (surrender to) Him; so He can use me for His purposes in this world today.
So I was praying for my son today, my youngest son Ian, who is a freshman in college and is going through some major, life-changing events and decisions that will affect him for the rest of his life. It is a challenging time, but a truly exhilarating time, to be alive in his world. He has asked me to pray for him, which I am always happy to do. I do pray for him every day anyway. Today, I started a new practice, of praying for Ian the way I pray for myself. It opens all kinds of new doors for me to think about in praying for him; not just about what he should do or not do; but also about all his relationships, with God and with others, that I can meditate on and consider how God is moving and working in Ian’s life and the lives of those around him. (They may need a little prayer too!)
There’s a limited amount of time to ‘really’ pray (like this) for all the people that are close to me; so I think I’ll need to spend more of my ‘unstructured’ time (formerly known as leisure time, ha!), when I’m driving down the road, or waiting in the doctor’s office, or waiting for an appointment, praying in this way for others. God only knows what the results might be, for them and for me.