How’s Your Prayer Life?
When asked about their prayer life most people would answer with responses like: “Well it’s not too bad, but it could be better” or “It’s not very good.” Both sets of people will readily agree that God hears and answers prayer and that they should pray more but we have become accustomed to functioning without the blessings, unction, and sweet fellowship with the Lord that only comes with true praying. I mean after all, things are pretty good for you right now. Right? Or the busy pastor may say we had a good attendance or good offerings and all the while much of it can be explained away as the result of a good web site or an enticing promotion on that particular Sunday. There was a time when we really did rise early and seek the Lord and saw His power and presence in our lives only to have the busy schedule of our lives or the hectic pace of the ministry (pastors) squeeze our closet time out. We think about prayer, believe in prayer, maybe preach about prayer but how much true praying is done?
Poor Excuses For Little Or No Prayer
I was privileged to hold a weekly Bible study at a state prison for seventeen years and I was making an appeal to the men in the study to schedule a large amount of time each morning to seek the Lord, to worship Him, to cry out for revival in the prison or in America, and to sing Psalms to Him. I was quickly shot down by a prisoner who said, “I kind of just talk to Him throughout the day.” Now to be sure I recommend constant fellowship with the Lord all the day long but can you see how this violates the command to enter into our closet, (place of prayer away from other people) shut the door, (remove all distractions) and to pray to your Father in secret (total focus on Him) ? Matthew 6:6 I know that when my wife and I talk she wants my full attention. I need to put the newspaper down and refuse to take any calls or texts on my phone. She deserves my full attention when we talk. Anything short of that is disrespectful and rude. If you think about it many of us have had lunch with a friend and we are not conversing with the person we went to lunch with but we are checking our phones or taking and receiving texts. There is hardly any deep communication anymore. We are a world set adrift with our eyes on the screen of the tablet, desktop, or cell phone. Sadly, this is how we function with our communion with our heavenly Father.
I understand that you are busy but it is also true that we find time for what is important to us. Many times we just vegetate on our smart phones playing games or checking social media. I will never forget when we had evangelist Byron Foxx with us for a meeting. We were going to do something we had planned and I said, “Yes, we will do that but first I need to spend some time in prayer.” His eyes got real big with excitement and he said, “Yes that’s right! Our prayer work is our most important work, isn’t it?” I have never forgotten that statement. Is it not our most important part of our life? Our time alone with almighty God? Charles Spurgeon said, “It is not a matter of time so much as a matter of heart; if you have the heart to pray, you will find the time.”
Then it may be that you prayed and it did not come to pass right away. Please get with a godly Christian who prayed for years and it was finally answered! Ask him or her how they stayed motivated to pray and just hung on! When we do not want to pray or we feel weak that is the very time to press on and keep praying. God admires and delights in the person who will not give up. Brother this shows faith! In the parable of the unjust judge in Luke 18:1-8 we read of the challenge of God encouraging us to “cry day and night unto Him”. Importunity is the constant asking to the point of annoyance or intrusion. Just recently my precious dad passed away and two days before he died I was privileged of the Lord to lead him to salvation! This came after over thirty years of praying with tears and loud groaning for him. Many of us are not passionate or fervent in our prayer life and so it becomes an exercise in boredom or it is tedious to us. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. James 5:16b If prayer is boring to you it is not God’s fault. It is your low view of Him and your preoccupation with the things of this world that is out of sync.