Sunday, October 2, 2016

First Things First - Pearls

This is Day #2 of 31 Days to Fill your Spiritual Jewelry Box. 

The first thing in our spiritual jewelry box is prayer. If you don’t know what to pray, don’t know how to pray, or maybe just don’t feel like praying today, what do you do? I go to my pearls.

Pearls?
In history, pearls were given as tributes and for many years were accessible only to the rich. They were considered the ultimate symbol of wealth and social standing. Roman women even wore pearls to bed as a reminder of their wealth when they woke up in the morning. 

Similar to pearls in history, prayer is available only to royalty and the heirs of royalty. Romans 8:17 says we are heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. 1 Peter 2:9 says we are chosen, royal, and God’s special people. 

As we pray we are reminded of our wealth in Christ. Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3). Perfect for our spiritual jewelry box. 

What is a Pearl?
Pearls are formed when an irritant or foreign object becomes trapped in the shell of an oyster. In order to protect itself, the oyster produces nacre. It then coats the irritant with layer upon layer of nacre until the irritant is completely covered. Voila! A pearl is formed. 

This is a beautiful illustration of prayer. When irritants enter our lives in the form of troubles, hardship, or just everyday life, we should instinctively coat them with prayer. It is our coating of protection just like nacre in an oyster. If we coat the issues of life with prayer, they can become pearls. 

Prayer is the beginning of laying up treasures in heaven, not on earth. 

Prayer develops our relationship with God. 

We can pray any time, and there are many types of prayers. You might pray concertedly for an hour, maybe a thank you before you eat, perhaps 10 minutes in the car, or one minute before a test. Communicating with God is prayer. 

I have found the most important time to pray is first thing in the morning. Whether spending 5 minutes or an hour, starting the day with God sets the tone for my day. It’s like driving a car. I can’t go anywhere until I start the engine. Praying first thing in the morning is starting my engine. 

Just as God provided daily manna to the Israelites in the desert, daily prayer cannot be replaced by one long prayer time each week. We can’t store up prayers. Meet with God every day as if collecting manna in the morning and then continually throughout the day. 

“O God, You are my God. Early I will seek You. My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You; in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water” (Psalm 63:1). 

We live in a dry and thirsty land. We need God to fill us as we start our day. And that begins with prayer. 

The next five posts will discuss the five essentials of a richer prayer life. 

Praise  
Expressing thanks
Acknowledging God
Releasing our cares and
Listening 

I would love to hear how starting your day with prayer affects your day. 

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