Joy in Prayer

My last post was on wrestling in prayer and the example of intercession given by Epaphras. As I read Isaiah last week I was excited to contemplate a different aspect of prayer. As we commit ourselves to the Lord- as we love, serve and obey- we will be lifted up to new heights and find new joy in prayer. 
Isaiah 56:6-7
 And foreigners who bind themselves to the LORD 
       to serve him, 
       to love the name of the LORD, 
       and to worship him, 
       all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it 
       and who hold fast to my covenant-
 these I will bring to my holy mountain 
       and give them joy in my house of prayer. 

As we bind ourselves to the Lord, our perspective shifts. He promises to respond to our commitment and reveal the true joy of intimate communion. 
I grew dependent on Skype while living in Argentina, thousands of miles away from family and friends in the States. The video chat program was so wonderful for feeling better connected to people. But nothing beats chatting face to face and exchanging a fierce hug. Certain characteristics and expressions only translate being in the actual presence of someone; it is a completely different experience, a deeper level of communication.  
In some ways my prayer time can feel distant or superficial. If I view it as a routine or requirement, my eyes are still pathetically locked on myself. I do long for an authentic, transforming experience with my Father in his house of prayer, but I must inspect my heart. Am I truly bound to the Lord? Do I love the name of the Lord with my life and lips? Do I have any other gods before the One True God? Do I value my personal relationship with Jesus Christ? 
When I enter into his house of prayer, I should be overwhelmed with joy. How precious to be in the presence of the Lord! 
What joy you promise, my God! Jesus, you are my Groom and Lover who deserves ALL of my attention and love. I commit myself to you. Reveal to me any disobedience or selfishness in my heart. Through repentance and restoration, I want to be brought high up to your holy mountain. May my heart be captivated by your sweet presence and powerful words. May I be transformed in your house of prayer.Salvation and the possibility of intimacy with you is the root of my joy.  Thank you for listening, and thank you for answering, thank you for filling my heart with joy.


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