Praying Prepositions

I have been praying prepositions—the prepositions that express different, perhaps essential, aspects of a believer’s relationship with God.  I have discovered some harder to pray than others.

I begin by reading Scripture that expresses truths about God going before us, behind us, and with us. I begin by asking, for instance, God to be with me. I meditate on the ways and places I need his presence with me. I listen for how I might act or speak differently because of him being with me. I end by thanking and praising Him for being with me always. I do the same for God before me and behind me.

I also do this with the ins. I often read John 15 and ask that God would help me abide in Him. Sometimes this becomes a dialogue because I ask Him what I might need to let go of to really abide in Christ—pride, anger, fear, ambition. We talk as I try to settle in and rest in his love, trust in his grace.

The other in I pray is for God to dwell in me. I find this one hard to pray with much faith, but there are scads of verses that speak of Christ dwelling in us through his Holy Spirit. Although Jesus taught his disciples to pray to “Our Father in heaven”, Paul speaks again and again about God and his power dwelling in us. Even so, I think we are reluctant to pray about God in us.

Because I seldom feel Him in me, it is hard for me to celebrate Him in me. And I think there is another more disturbing reason this preposition is hard to pray. If He is truly in me, He should be flowing out of me. The wisdom, fruit, and power of God’s Spirit in me should be flowing to the people around me.

I think the reality of God in us is earth-shaking and life-transforming. It means where I go, God goes. Where I go, salvation goes because the Savior is abiding in me. Where I go, the kingdom of God goes, because the King lives in me. Where I go, healing and deliverance goes, because Jesus lives in me and I live in Him.

Yeah, this is a hard preposition to pray. If I keep God in heaven and ask Him to do stuff for me, I am off the hook. But if He is in me then He is wanting to do something through me. Through may be one of the scariest prepositions because it means obedience and risk. It is always easier to have faith in God to do something for us than through us.

Praying prepositions is a potent weapon against fear. When our hearts and minds are filled with the reality of God going before us and behind us, of him always being with us and even in us, and us in Him as tower of strength against enemy–well, it’s hard to be afraid.

Of course the enemy will try to tell us of all the reasons God can’t dwell in us or work through us, but we must simply put on the full armor of God and drive Satan out. We can put on Christ and the armor of light.

 

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About Mark

I live in Myrtle Point, Oregon with my wife Teckla and am the father of four boys. Currently I teach writing and literature at Southwest Oregon Community College. I am a graduate of Myrtle Point High School, Northwest Nazarene College, and have a Masters in English from Washington State University.

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