One of the supreme moments in my life was the time when I decided to commit my life to the life of prayer. More than a quarter of a century ago I committed my life to the Lord, and it was not long until I discovered that this commitment led to another: to find the lost path to the secret spring, which is prayer. In my commitment, I purposed in my heart to follow the path and, by the power of the Holy Spirit, never to stop nor to turn back. It has been the most difficult journey I have ever undertaken; but it has been the most rewarding, the most life-giving.
The prayer of direction has kinship to many of the other ways of praying. It is definitely opening our hearts to God’s wisdom, God’s power, and God’s leadership in our lives. As we start out in the day, we go in a sense of His leadership. We move with the elemental energy which created the universe in the beginning and keeps re-creating it. We live and work and act with the benefit of the very Wisdom that runs the whole universe. We can grow from the finite minds we are to the infinite Mind that God is, until actually we see and feel and act, not with our wisdom, but with the wisdom and power and direction of God.
So we go into the day not on our own, but we go as channels through which God is working. Our hands, our minds, our eyes, everything we are and everything we possess are His. We seek His leadership and guidance in the little things of life as well as in the more difficult hours. Then we make fewer mistakes. We increasingly live without wasting energy, and we get maximum results from a minimum expenditure of energy.
As we grow in practicing the prayer of direction, we have many meaningful experiences. We are led to go places and do things at the right moment. If one prays truly the prayer of direction, then he is not on his own; the spirit and power and wisdom that guide the universe will begin to operate through him.
We pray in these ways when we are alone, and we pray in these ways in fellowship. We have the prayer of the group, the prayer of public worship, the prayer of the intimate group, and the prayer of the individual.
– Dr. Roy A. Burkhart, The Symphony of Prayer; Lord Teach us to Pray, 1963.
Dr. Burkhart was senior minister, First Community Church, Columbus, Ohio, 1935-1958.
His ministry was deeply focused on youth and family life.
“The sheep that are My own listen to My voice,
and I know them,
and they follow Me;
and I give them eternal life,
and they shall never at any time be lost,
and no one is able to snatch them out of My hands.
What My Father has endowed Me with is mightier than all;
and no one is able to wrest from the hand of My Father.
The Father and I are one.”
The New Testament in Modern English,
translated from the Greek by Ferrar Fenton. Fourth Edition, 1906.