This year is a journey that God has been preparing me on for most of my life. I've always prayed over everything in sight, but this year He's taking me to a new level that I've never been, but I'm listening and reading on others who have been on this journey before.
In this journey, I've had conversations with other believers and there is seems to be a division in the church no matter what denomination. It has to do with once saved, always saved or in other words a new term that has been coned is a sinless life.
Somehow this term strikes a cord with me because when I talk to those who believe this term, that we don't have to struggle anymore, or once we are saved we don't sin anymore and all the sin from the past are taken away. The statement is true to a point, we don't have to have the desire to sin when we set our hearts and mind on Christ. We don't plan on sinning. However temptation is still there unless we choose to hide under a rock. And yes all our sins past present and future are washed away by the blood on the Cross. However we still have consequences from the past sins that we have to take care of, and at times temptation will follow during those times.
Kay Arthur's definition made the most sense on what the once saved always saved means to me. And its this belief that I hold on to on the ubject.
When we commit a life to Christ fully, with no turning back, no matter what circumstances may come our way, we are saved. When a decision is made to accept Christ but the person doesn't want to give up anything in their life that is causing a hindrance, and has no conviction over it, the person is not saved. However, I do believe part of the journey in a Christian walk is that when we come across unknown sins in our lives that when it is made aware of, if we continue to let that sin hinder us it does effect our prayer life.
An example of this would be as if you lied to get a promotion at work. You persuaded and perpetrated a lie to get a supervisor to believe something about you that is not true and he is expecting you to live up to that postion you now have. The relationship between you and the supervisor will be awkward, strained because you will always be looking over your shoulder. In addition the circumstances of those around you will be different as well, for those who know the truth and for those that you are now manipulating.
When you have sin in your life, you are trying to manipulate God's decision. He won't listen to your plea because you are working on trying to protect yourself. Your sin has caused God to turn His back on you. All God wants at this point is for you to repent, and He will hold out His scepter for you to enter the Throne Room with Him.
If we look at our relationships with those we love on earth and keep in mind on how to cultivate them, we would know how to cultivate a prayer life that follows the heart beat of our Heavenly Father.
The other part to having an effective prayer life is to be in the Word every day. This past year our pastor put our congregation on a journey of reading the Book of Acts every day for the next 12 months. After reading for the last 7 months, I'm finding more how certain parts of Acts fit into my daily life, plus it fits in with other passages that I'm reading throughout the day or week. Spending time in God's word does change a person's thought life and brings in conviction in areas that we've lived so long thinking it was okay to do.
This is part one of the series of an effective prayer life.