On Sunday, Chet asked us the question: “Why don’t we pray?”
In 1 Samuel 27, David chooses to solve his problems on his own and finds himself in deep compromise. We are the children of the Creator of the world! Yet, we often choose to counsel ourselves and consult with other people rather than turn to the One in control. So we need to evaluate, why don’t we pray?
I have a few experiences you might track with if you’ve been in Church world for any amount of time—let’s evaluate ourselves!
1. The Scripted Prayer:
We’ve all heard, and probably prayed, this one. It happens for a few seconds before each meal every day, and it sounds something like this: “Dear God, thank you for this day, thank you for this food, thank you for this family, please bless this food to our bodies…”
2. The Voicemail Prayer:
Have you ever prayed like you’re leaving a message for God’s answering machine? “Hi God, it’s me. I’ve got a lot to do today so if you could clear traffic right now, I’d really appreciate it. Thanks!” With this prayer, God will simply check His voicemail later and get back to you when He has more time.
Here is the thing: prayer is revealing. The problem with these prayers is that if they are our only prayers—we’re in trouble. The scripted prayer and voicemail prayer may show us we don’t actually believe that Jesus is present, listening, and speaking – or that we lack the patience to find out.
Is this what we sound like? Or are we those who are devoted to prayer? When is the last time you sat in the presence of God and allowed the reality of His enormity to sink into the depths of your soul, your fears, and your thoughts? When is the last time you let Him “quiet you by His love?” (Zephaniah 3:17).
Maybe we start every day with prayer, but as we continue, we forget to talk to Him about the little things. Soon enough, we’re talking back to our parents, frustrated at our co-worker, losing patience with our children…you name it! Even so, our weakness in prayer is no surprise to our God, who “remembers that we are dust” (Psalm 103:14). Jesus said it himself when He declared that apart from Him, we can do nothing (John 15). And so He gave us the Helper, and “the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us…”(Romans 8:26).
Thankfully for us, “God is attracted to weakness. He can’t resist those who humbly and honestly admit how desperately they need Him. Our weakness, in fact, makes room for His power.” –Jim Cymbala, Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire
The reality is that we can’t afford to NOT pray! This week, let’s scrap the routine prayers if we have them, and get real with the God who moves powerfully on behalf of his children.
Michelle Townsley is a young adult devoted t o loving Jesus and loving people. A current staff member at Coast Hills, her passion is t o “present everyone mature in Christ” whether through women’s discipleship in high school ministry, with young adults at Patmos: Reality Discipleship, or through communications and t he written word. Michelle loves ministry, summer camp, and basketball in that order.