How high is “prayer” on your list of priorities? How important a role does it play at church? My guess is that it falls way down near the bottom of the list, if it’s there at all! I hope I’m wrong. If I am, tell me so in the comments section. I’d love to hear that prayer is a top priority in your life or in the workings of your church. But if it isn’t, read on, because the lack of prayer doesn’t exist in a vacuum!
Prayerlessness, by it’s very nature leads to a whole list of other issues. Really, if we stop and think about it, many of our problems can be traced back to whatever the motive is for us not praying! Sometimes we just don’t want to admit that we need God’s help. Other times, we don’t want to admit God even exists. Someone that prays is acknowledging both!
Another issue is that using the term “prayer” has become so cliché. It is mere lip-service. Politicians drop it in at the end of every speech where a disaster has occurred. Do they mean what they say? Do they really pray? I wonder?
More Lip-Service… “Hey, I’ll Be Praying for You”
Even Christians are fond of saying, Hey, I’ll be praying for you!” We give lip-service to prayer all the time. The over-use of the phrase, “I’ll be praying for you” has become the equivalent of “good-bye” among believers. In fact, call me skeptical, but very rarely do I get the sense that someone will really be praying for me after having said that.
The general implication is that there will not be a follow through. This has to change!
I’ve started carrying a little notebook and if I tell someone I’ll be praying for them, it goes in the notebook. So does the date that the prayer is answered!
We all know we must pray. They Lord tells us to “pray always” in Luke 21:36. His life was the supreme example of prayer. Paul gives us consistent examples of “always praying” (Eph. 6:18, Col. 1:3)
We must begin to take prayer seriously once again. It is an obedient choice of the will. Failure to obediently pray is sin.
I am amazed at the emphasis Christ gave to prayer. He not only talked about prayer, but He gives endless examples of His own life of prayer. His walk and His talk back this up.
He teaches us how to pray, He models prayer, and then He tells us to pray. And in the end, we don’t pray. What a slap in the Lord’s face. And what foolishness on our part. The greatest tool and weapon that we have in our spiritual arsenal, and we fail to use it.
I’m excited to say that I have friends that model a good solid prayer life. They are rare, but they are such a breath of fresh air!
How about you? If you’re a prayer warrior, keep it up! If you struggle in this area like most of us, why not make a commitment right now to make a positive change in this area.
C. H. Spurgeon once said, “Prayer pulls the rope down below and the great bell rings above in the ears of God. Some scarcely stir the bell, for they pray so casually; others give only an occasional jerk at the rope. But he who communicates with heaven is the man who grasps the rope boldly and pulls continuously with all his might.”
Here are a few tips that might help to pull that rope boldly!
Meditate on the Matthew 26:36-46 passage.
Jesus is in the garden of Gethsemane. Especially note what Jesus said, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour”?” I hear that question often in my mind and it motivate me to spend the time with the Lord in prayer. Don’t fixate on the “one hour” aspect. Just take this as a challenge to spend time with God. That’s all.
If time is a factor, then commit to praying for 7 minutes a day!
I guarantee you that if you will follow through on this, you’ll soon catch yourself praying for much longer periods of time. It happened to me.
Start today! Then do it again tomorrow!
Put a small mark on your calendar that you’ve prayed today. Once you’ve built up a chain of marks on your calendar, make a commitment that you’ll never breaking that chain again!
How have you gained consistency in your prayer life?