Tag Archives: Bridegroom God

Contemplative Prayer: What Is It?

Contemplative prayer is a tool that can help us grow in intimacy with Jesus.

This form of prayer has been often misunderstood, as it has been defined in both correct and incorrect ways. Let’s define contemplative prayer:

Contemplative prayer is about enjoying a close relationship with God and setting aside time to behold the beauty of Jesus.

As defined in the dictionary, the word contemplation simply means “the action of looking thoughtfully at something for a long time.”

“Thoughtfully” is a key word here: Full of thought that is focused on Jesus, Holy Spirit and the Word, which is very different than an emptying of the mind. We want to think and ponder on things that are godly, Christlike and pure, not sinful or worldly things (Philippians 4:8); we want to be a pure home for God’s Spirit.

We spend focused time looking upon the beauty of Jesus and thinking on the truths in His Word. As we do so, we are transformed. These very things come alive within our hearts as we experience His love and as He gives us revelation. We want God’s written Word to lead us to the Living Word, Jesus Christ.

As we quiet our souls and focus only on God, we position ourselves to experience His love for us and the beauty of our future heavenly home. This “beholding of His beauty” changes things on the inside of us: As we see His heart and beauty, we also begin to reflect His heart and beauty to those around us.

“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NKJV)

In addition, contemplative prayer involves communing with God’s Holy Spirit, who lives inside of us. This communion happens as we give time to lovingly dialogue with His Spirit within us in worship and conversation.

We also fellowship with God’s Spirit by intentionally talking with Him throughout each day. Doing so helps us grow in holiness and live by God’s Spirit, affecting all we think, say and do.

At its core, the aim of contemplative prayer is to specifically focus on enjoying friendship with Jesus. This differs from intercessory prayer, which focuses on praying for the needs of people or concerning specific issues affecting our world.

The focus of contemplation is Jesus Himself and knowing Him more intimately, and this is the very thing our Bridegroom Messiah says is eternal life:

“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” John 17:3 (NKJV)

It is important to clarify that the word for “know” in the above verse comes from the same word used to define the knowing shared by a husband and wife in intimacy, an expression of the closest union found in human relationships.

Likewise, Jesus–our Bridegroom and King–yearns to have the closest relationship possible with us, even on this side of eternity.

Spend time today in intimacy with your Savior, quieting your soul from all distractions so you can experience the depths of His love. Ask God to show you the superior pleasures of knowing Him and to help you in beholding His beauty.

When your thoughts wander into daily tasks or worries vying for your attention, do not stress but write them down, and then simply pray, asking the Father’s help, or sing worship to Him. Again fix your gaze on Jesus and His Word, loving on Him and letting Him pour out His love on you.

I hope this information on contemplative prayer helps you in your journey.

“One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord, & to inquire in His temple.” Psalm 27:4 (NKJV)

God’s Presence: What Is It Really?

As Spirit-filled believers, we are accustomed to hearing the phrase “God’s presence” or “the presence of the Lord,” but do we truly know the meaning of this phrase? Have we even pondered it?

In order to truly seek God and worship Him, we must know what, better yet, who we are seeking. I have a sense that some in the Body of Christ think of differing things when they think of “His presence.”

Is it a feeling? No, but at times we can tangibly feel His presence or our physical bodies are touched in an obvious way by His Spirit. Is it something “oily” (the anointing) or electric (dunamis power of the Holy Spirit) in the atmosphere? No, but there can be tangible manifestations of God in the atmosphere.

So what does the phrase “His presence” actually mean? It’s so simple. :)

His presence is His Person. It is God Himself! Profound, I know.

(This post is not meant to be an ethereal, deep devotional about God’s presence, but about the simplicity of what that means so that we can truly experience a closer, more intimate relationship with Him.)

If we are seeking a feeling or some tangible experience that we see as defining the experience of His presence more than we are seeking Him in intimate fellowship, we may completely miss the true depth of connection and communion we can have with Jesus.

He definitely encounters us and tangible things can happen. We see things in the Spirit as He opens our eyes and we hear Him speak within our spirits internally or He shows us what He is saying through a vision. However, this is not our basis for defining the experience of His presence anymore than for example, someone hearing me sing means we have had quality time together as friends.

You’ve heard, felt and/or seen with your spiritual or natural senses, but have you actually connected to God and interacted with Him intimately?

Think of it this way: Say you call a friend on the phone, and they say they can’t talk at the moment because they’re visiting with a guest. This means that they are in the room with the guest, and even more so, it means they are with the person spending time with them, talking to them, complimenting or encouraging them, etc.

Furthermore, in thinking along the lines of having guests stay overnight, it means you are sharing your home with them, giving them a place not only to interact with you in close quarters, but they also eat with you and rest there in your home.

Jesus wants to have His home in our hearts, and us to have our home in His. The Lord wants companions and friends, not simply distant acquaintances who just want to feel the good vibes in the room because He is there. Jesus wants to be our Best Friend and Highest Priority, just as we are His. He wants to be with us, and He wants us to be with Him.

As we worship together as the Body of Christ or have our time alone with God in the Secret Place, I pray that Father God will help us to realize and live out the experience of His presence that is mainly about being with Jesus, our Bridegroom and Best Friend, the Lover of our Souls. In this, we can truly enjoy His presence, and allow Him to enjoy fellowship with us.

When you pursue the Lord’s presence, remember what you are truly seeking: to spend time with Him. Ask His Holy Spirit to teach you to fellowship with God.

Remember that the tangible, manifest presence type of experiences may come and go, but God’s Spirit dwells inside of our spirits all the time. His indwelling presence is always with us. We can encounter God’s presence at any time, even when in the midst of our daily tasks we can turn our minds and hearts toward loving conversation with Him. Learn more about fellowship with God’s Spirit.

Know that because of Jesus you can come boldly into the throne room of grace to spend time with your heavenly Father! He loves you so much. As you seek His presence with this understanding, you will find that your connection to Christ becomes even deeper and your friendship with Him grows more and more.

You will show me the path of life;
in Your presence is fullness of joy,
at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 16:11 (AMP)

The Longing We Have

My soul longs, yes, even faints and pines for the courts of my God…homesick for my Beloved.
(paraphrase of Psalm 84:2)

We long, we yearn, we look for the Day of His returning when we will be together in fullness; we live for that Day.

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