Do you consider yourself "born again"? If that statement makes you bristle and you deny association in those terms, I can guarantee there is something very wrong and very weak about your prayer life. If conversations about the Holy Spirit make you squirm and you call the Spirit "it" vs "He", there is room for much growth in your prayer life; and in your understanding of who God is.
Jesus was very clear when He said, "Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God, unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again'..." Those words are from the book of John, chapter 3, verses 5-7.
When Jesus references being born of water and Spirit, there are a couple of very moving and comforting pictures that can be helpful in lingering with God in prayer, that is if you are open to it, and do not think of Jesus' words as "weird".
The first picture is a womb. Jesus references it in the statement "being born of water". Note that a mother's womb is made up of 98% water. But Jesus is not referencing a human womb, He is referencing a spiritual one. The very tender truth contained here is that a womb is how God defines His mercy and compassion. (If you want to check me on that, click on this page which defines mercy as a womb from several spiritual lexicons.)
When Jesus tells Nicodemus that he must be born of water to see the Kingdom of God, He is essentially telling Nicodemus that he must willing to receive the tender mercies of God. His heart is to be made new, turned from stone to flesh, and made clean by the purifying new life from the Spirit. Once this new birth happens we are to be transformed daily by the love of God who carries, feeds, nurtures, protects, surrounds, delivers, and sanctifies by His mercy. This is to be forgiven, loved and never forsaken by a Heavenly Father who does not abandon us as human parents might, Psalm 27:10. Many aspects of this type of love are the things that a womb is purposed to do when it is carries a baby. How offensive and weird is that message that God carries, nurtures, protects, surrounds, delivers, sanctifies, carries into eternity? It's not offensive or weird. It's life and life eternal for all who would believe.
This is the supernatural transformation that results- Ezekiel 36:25-27 KJVS
 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.  A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.  And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. …
The second picture for being born from above is of the Spirit. Notice the promise of a new spirit in Ezekiel 36:25-27. Remember Jesus says, "Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit." After Jesus references the Spirit, he does something very interesting. He starts speaking in plural to Nicodemus. He tells Nicodemus, "Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony." That's 4 "we's" and 1 "our". Why, does Jesus refer to himself in plural terms?
I personally see reference to the indwelling of the person of the Holy Spirit that happens when we are born again. Jesus had just demonstrated that when being baptized by the Spirit in John 1:32-34. The same happens with those who believe. Upon our confession of belief in Christ, Heaven opens, the Spirit of Christ descends and we are now one with Him. Ultimately, our "I" has been changed to "we", one with God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. We are now forever saved by the tender mercies of God, carried gently and held and surrounded and fed and nurtured and comforted and delivered into eternal life by the Spirit.
Review all those images, consider bringing them into a time of prayer.
What situations are happening that you need to connect more deeply to the fact that right now God is surrounding you, protecting you, carrying you, delivering you etc? Think about a few and bring them to the God of tender mercies. Confess willfulness and any rebellion. Turn from independence and flesh based choice. Cling instead to your spirit nature that is one with God. Turn from despairing thoughts and feeling without hope. He has not given up on you. He has never left your side.
Picture His light circling you, his forgiveness washing you, hear the songs of deliverance surrounding you. See him carrying you through the difficulties. Admit weakness, ask to be carried. If you are His, these images are scriptural. I could list a thousand scriptures to show you the images, but here are just a few.
+++++++ God blesses the righteous, he surrounds them with his favor like a shield, Psalm 5:12.
+++++++ You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance, Psalm 32:7.
+++++++ Yet thou in thy manifold mercies forsookest them not in the wilderness: the pillar of the cloud departed not from them by day, to lead them in the way; neither the pillar of fire by night, to shew them light, and the way wherein they should go. Nehemiah 9:19
+++++++ Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. Psalm 51:1-2
+++++++ Deuteronomy 1:29-31- Then I said to you, “Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the wilderness. There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.”
If you are not his child yet, there is a door in your soul that so far has been closed to knowing the truth. That door must be opened so that His light can be shed abroad within you and then you will see, you will be born from above. To know is to see, to see you need light. To know Jesus is to see Jesus, to see Jesus, you need His light to enter your soul. Call on His Name. Ask for His tender mercy to carry you, fill you, protect you, deliver you, feed you, sanctify you, teach you, nurture you. Then wait quietly, whispering his name, Jesus. Heaven will open. He will send His Spirit and you will be born from above.
John 3:21- Whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
2 Corinthians 4:6- For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God's glory displayed in the face of Christ."
John 15:26- "When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father- the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father- he will testify about me..."
Romans 8:16- The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children.
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Prayer is Gift!
Hi my name is Gina; and I'm the founder of the ministry. My 25 year journey with God has been centered on immersing myself in the safe relationship God offers, learning about the power of surrender, and praying for His life in greater measure!