Seven Steps to Intimacy with God
Based on the Lord's Prayer

1. Our Father who art in Heaven... We must begin by realizing that God is our Father and He desires a parent/child relationship with us. He is looking for a humble, dependent spirit. Jesus said that unless we humble ourselves and come as little children, we couldn’t enter the kingdom of Heaven. Biblical humility is dependence. We are dependent upon God for everything. No matter how much we grow, our souls must remain as humble, dependent children - dependent upon Him for the air we breathe and all our righteousness. There is no room for pride. We must be willing to die to self, which is a process that will keep us nestled in the lap of Jesus.

2. Hallowed Be Thy Name.Praise is the key that opens the door to a deeper relationship with the Lord. We begin by dwelling on what was accomplished for us on the Cross, stopping to think - Where would we be without Jesus; no hope for the future, just death and destruction, a weeping and gnashing of teeth inouter darkness. Gratitude ignites praise andworship. The Word says that God inhabits the praises of His people. When we worship and praise Him He draws near.

3. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.We are back to our place in the Throne on the lap of Jesus. We must be willing for Him to wrap His arms around us and have complete control of our lives. He is seeking Lordship and we must be willing to give it to Him in every area of our lives. He must be the One who is in control, not self. The willingness to submit to His Lordship begins the process that He works out in our lives. "Not my will, but Thine be done." Our willingness to spend time with Him praying in our own garden of Gethsemane on our knees, sweating a little blood in our efforts to allow Him to kill off our fleshly desires, brings us close to Him. For He is always near to the heart of a suffering saint who is willing to die to the flesh for the Lord’s sake.

4. Give us this day our daily bread...Quality time spent reading the Word of God, usually results in the Lord reading over our shoulders, whispering His instruction along the way. Can you see Him smile at this? He is delighted when His children commune with Him this way.

5. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who have sinned against us…Pride and self-righteousness are usually the culprits who harbor unforgiveness in our souls. And nothing will put a wedge between God and us faster than unforgiveness. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). No one is above another in this area. Clean out quickly, repent and forgive. Oh, the joys of repentance! We cannot draw near to God without it!

6. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil…Back to the Lordship of Jesus - Jesus said, "Follow Me." If we are following Him, where do you think He will lead us? Away from temptation and into His perfect will. A willingness to follow Jesus and not the world, gives Him the intimate authority to direct your steps safely around the obstacles the devil will sow in your path. Listen for the Voice of your Lord; wait upon Him for His guidance and timing. Do not be impulsive. Be patient and listen for The Still Small Voice to say, "This is the way you should walk." Be willing and obedient to follow His direction. Obedience is your safety.

7. For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the Glory.Praise the Lord again! Begin and end your day with praise to Him, with the heartfelt cry of Abba, Father upon your lips. For He is the power and the glory who is everywhere and all around; who sees everything you do and knows your thoughts and the intents of your heart. Recognize that He is always there, like a breath of fresh air, and draw Him into yourself in the sweet conversation of daily prayer.

Copyright 2003 by H.D. Shively

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