Sometimes I need a reminder of the process of life. I need to look at what is important in the midst of my daily living. I want to be like Jesus. There is a pattern in the life of Jesus that can be discerned from the stories in the gospels. One pattern in the life of Jesus was that of prayer. Jesus sought places to be alone with His heavenly Father. We have records of Jesus praying early in the morning. In fact, it would seem that as pressure and tension became greater Jesus prayed more. When there seemed to be less time to pray Jesus would seek solitude and pray all night when necessary.
So we need to pray. Maybe we need to pray more than we need to do anything else. We are in a unique and very favorable position compared to the saints of the past. We have the blessing of having the Holy Spirit with us. The Holy Spirit guides our prayers and our ability to hear from God. If we are to become like Jesus we need to recognize the relationship Jesus had with the Father and how His relationship impacts the life we live. Jesus prayed because He loved Father and because Father loved Him. Jesus prayed so that He could have fellowship with God. We have been authorized and empowered to become daughters and sons of God. There is only one way to relate to God as a son or daughter. We must relate to our heavenly Father by love.
Prayer for Jesus was constant. Prayer for us is to develop into constant prayer. Our hearts open more and more into the realization that the Holy Spirit is always with us and always desiring to give us what we need. In order to receive encouragement, faith, strength, guidance, assurance, and whatever else we need we must turn to God in prayer. Why is it necessary to pray in order to hear the Holy Spirit when He is within us? Simply put, we are the ones who have the privilege of inviting the Holy Spirit to speak to us. I do not mean that the Holy Spirit cannot or does not speak to us without our initiation. On the contrary, the Holy Spirit will often quietly prompt us to open our hearts and minds in order to listen to what He has to say. For us to allow the Holy Spirit to speak into our lives we must place ourselves in a position to actually listen. We must become quiet.
Becoming quiet has two aspects, the physical and the spiritual. To put it another way, the aspect of outer quiet and the aspect of inner quiet. Jesus sought and lived both. Jesus found places of solitude and quiet to be alone with Father so that He could hear uninterrupted. Jesus also was at peace within Himself. He lived in a constant connection with Father. He lived in a constant state of peace. That is our goal. We are developing into mature daughters and sons of God. We begin daily with prayer so that we renew our love connection with Father through the presence of the Holy Spirit. Then we live and walk in the peace He provides.
We carry peace with us like we would carry our lunch and books in a backpack going to school or like we might carry necessary items in a purse. We carry peace like a commodity, like an item. No, it is not a physical item; but we are not physical beings. We are spiritual beings who have souls (mind, will, and emotion) and who happen to live in physical bodies. Love, joy, peace and other aspects of the fruit of the Spirit are actual spiritual realities that we carry with us. I like to think of the test for whether or not the aspects of the fruit of the Spirit are developed in us or whether they need more development is when our fruit is squeezed. The cares and concerns of life put pressure on our fruit. When our fruit is squeezed and bruised it will leak. That is when we will know if love, joy, and peace drip out or something else not quite so pleasant leaks.
The correction of unpleasant leaks is simply turning to the Holy Spirit in humility and confessing the unpleasant result of our fruit being bruised. The Holy Spirit will accept our confession, repentance, and request for forgiveness and supply us with the aspect of the fruit of the Spirit we have been lacking. Our failure will then become an opportunity for us to become more like Jesus. We than will find that our prayer life will increase into the constant love connection God desires.