Longing for God

Focus 40Day 18

“As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God.”
—Psalm 42:1 NLT

When I was converted to Christ, I was a real wino, dino, and dingbat. In other words, I was heavily
influenced by the world and was very much a part of it. Through a dramatic conversion, I learned
the necessity of a daily relationship with Christ. I needed him at every turn. I would turn to him for
every little thing. I remember how I couldn’t wait for my visit with the Lord. I would talk to him
early in the morning before I even got out of bed and wouldn’t stop talking to him until my head
once again hit the pillow that night. We talked about everything: what I should do that day, what I
should say, and how I should invest my time. I included him in everything. It reminded me a lot of
when I was young and spent a great deal of time on the phone with my girlfriend. We would spend
hours on the phone. Sometimes we would call just to hear each other say hello. Nothing really had
to be said, but just knowing that she was at the other end of the phone seemed to make the day
fulfilled and better. There were times that we talked on the phone way into the night until we fell
asleep. As silly as those times sound, they were quite meaningful times in my life. Unfortunately, as
we get older and wiser in the Lord—or at least we think we are—we feel that we can rely more and
more on our own understanding. I would hope that we would, once again, humble ourselves and
pray and seek his face and turn from our wicked ways so that he could hear from heaven and forgive
our sins and heal out land.

As we look to our daily prayer life, I want to challenge each one of us to get to that point
where we long to be with the Lord, where we can’t wait to call upon him and to spend as much time
as possible with him in conversation sharing every detail of our lives—from the least important to
the most difficult areas of our lives.

We need to have an attitude through which prayer becomes a priority for our family, our life,
and ourselves. We need to make it a priority, not an option. We need to choose to pray. If we truly
believe that spending time with God in prayer is actually carrying on a conversation with the Creator
of the universe, then why would we overlook, avoid, forget, or even fall asleep in the middle of our
prayers? We need to realize that this is an incredible privilege that God has given each believer to
call on him and have him answer. Neglecting prayer is a personal loss and one that I now refuse to
ever lose out on again. You see, once we realize that prayer is the source of power for our life, just as
electricity is to an appliance, we will never want to be disconnected again, because we have come to
realize that God increases our usefulness as we stay plugged into him through prayer.

Father, help me to long to spend time in conversation for you. Rekindle my desire to spend time with you as my first
priority.

– Richard Mansfield, Evanglist; Senior Pastor, New Beginnings Church of God, Albuquerque, New
Mexico; Director of Finance, Concilio Hispano de la Iglesia de Dios

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