Prayer Atmosphere is of great importance if you want to
have a meaningful prayer time with GOD. You will not go far in prayer
if you approach it in the spirit of tense strenuousness, as though you
were going to force God to give you what you ask. The spirit of prayer
should be what someone described as 'alert passivity'.
Alert passivity means that while your spiritual, mental
and physical sensibilities are awake and alert to God yet they are
relaxed and receptive.
In order to put yourself in a Prayer
Atmosphere, you must first begin with the body, the outer
prayer. If you don't get much physical exercise then follow these few
simple guidelines which will help you to relax physically.
Stand with arms over your head and try to reach up and
touch the ceiling. Push hard, going up on tiptoe as far as you can.
Then let your arms drop down to your side - limp. Repeat ten times.
Next, sit in a chair and raise your right arm keeping
every muscle tight. Make your arm as heavy as possible. Then let them
drop-limp. Repeat this exercise five times.Then do the same exercise
with your left arm.
Next - with your knee bent raise your right leg, making
it as heavy as possible. Then let it go -limp. Repeat this five times.
Do this five times.
Then as you sit in the chair, sit loose, every muscle
relaxed. Picture yourself as a rag doll; no stiff muscles - you're
limp. Let your head fall onto your chest, your eyes closed, your jaws
relaxed and loose, mouth partly open.
Now turn your head over to the left and make a complete
circle stretching as far back as possible then to the right and then
back on to your chest. Go limp. Repeat this exercise five times, making
your nose appear as a piece of chalk drawing a circle as large as
So much for physical relaxation. Let us now focus on
mental relaxation. As the body becomes tied up with physical tensions
so the mind becomes tied up with mental tensions.
No amount of techniques of body relaxation will avail if
there is tension in the mind. In Romans 12.2 we read 'Do not conform
any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the
renewing of your mind'. (NIV) Note - when your mind is renewed you
become a transformed person.
To be in a Prayer Atmosphere, the mind is the key. The
mind, however, cannot be told
to be calm and relaxed unless it rests in some assurance beyond itself.
So learn to focus your mind on God. Draw from Him the strength and
power you need.
See yourself linked to Him through the sacrifice of His
Son on Calvary. He is your God and you are His child. You are an heir
of God and a joint heir with Christ. Assured of this position say to
the organs of your inner being something like this: 'My brain, you are
now in the presence of God.
Let go and listen. He speaks. He penetrates. He heals.
Relax and receive.' And to the nerves. '0 nerves, the carrier of so
many messages, strained and torn by living in a world of chaos, I now
set you to work on the job of reporting better news - your God comes,
comes with the good news of calm, of poise, of confidence, of
' And to every cell of your being, say, 'I put you at
God's disposal. He is now in every cell, bathing them with His
gentleness, reinforcing every weakness, co-ordinating all parts and
making them into a beautiful whole.' Open every door of your being to
Christ - give Him all the keys.
But deeper than the mind is the spirit. This is the
central part of us: the motivating centre of our personality. How do we
go about relaxing the spirit? We said earlier that techniques of
relaxation are not enough in themselves. To really relax spiritually
the spirit needs to have a firm grip upon God.
'How did you like the aero plane flight?' was asked of
a nervous man who had just flown for the first time. 'It was all right'
he said 'but I never did put my full weight down.' There can be no
enjoyment of an aeroplane journey, or of this larger journey through
life, unless we learn to put our whole weight down.
Obviously there is nothing, absolutely nothing, upon
which you can put your whole weight, except God. Those who refuse to do
as the Quakers suggest 'settle down in God' but keep their troubles and
disappointments in their own hands, are frustrated.
There can never be complete spiritual relaxation or a
Prayer Atmosphere, unless
that relaxation rests ultimately in the love and goodness of God. A
relaxated spirit is one that knows and affirms this fact - God loves me
and when at times He denies me the thing I ask, it is only because love
and goodness in Him decided that I am not ready for it, it is not His
will for me, or He will give me something better.
The three Hebrew young men of Daniel's day said, 'God
... is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace . . . but if
not . . . we will still not serve thy gods' (Daniel 3.17-18).
They did not rest their confidence in immediate
deliverance but in the ultimate love and goodness of God. That is what
produces a relaxed spirit (or a Prayer Atmosphere).
When at the depths of your being you hold and maintain
the conviction that God always wills your good then you are ready to
engaged in the kind of praying that changes the world. Nothing that
happens can hurt me, whether I lose or win. Though life may be changed
on the surface I do my main living within.
begin the Prayer Atmosphere with MEDITATION