Praying for Prayer

I lack consistency. I lack love. I lack devotion. I lack prayer. Pretty much everything that you need to be to be a devoted follower of Christ, I’m terrible at. My whole Christian life I’ve struggled with prayer. I’ve struggled to be consistent in my pursuit of prayer. I’ve struggled to make prayer a priority. And it’s stunted my growth, it’s stunted my faith, it’s stunted my relationship with Jesus. I can’t possibly be a fully devoted follower of my Jesus without prayer as an integral part. And up until now, I’ve lived a life of “prayerlessness,” a life of worship and Bible study but a life lacking prayer.

Bottom line is, prayer isn’t an optional part of being a follower of Jesus, it never has been.

And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. {Acts 2:42}

Prayer is the most optimal resource to us as Christians. Prayer is our access to the Holy Spirt, prayer is our access to God Himself. Prayer allows us to worship our Father, it allows us to seek after Him, to know Him more. Prayer allows us to be broken, to be needy, to be grateful, to be angry, to rejoice, to grieve, to request, to praise. Prayer is the place that gives us the freedom for Jesus to meet us right where we’re at, for Him to show us grace, for Him to know our hearts like He so desires, for us to talk to our Father. And after listing all of the things that prayer is to us, how could I find it so difficult, how could I be so apathetic about something that can bless me so much? My sin nature is at fault, but I can’t allow it to be my excuse. In fact, I think we as Christians use our sin as an excuse to not fight for our relationship with Jesus all too often. We cannot allow that to be the case, if so, anything would be permissible and Jesus dying for us would mean nothing. Our sins are covered because of His sacrifice but we aren’t at liberty to sin freely, nor to choose not to pray.

Prayer should bless us. It should bring us nearer to the heart of Jesus. It shouldn’t be the cause of our frustration or just another thing to add to the list of to-dos in our faith. We should be drawn to prayer, we should  need prayer in the way we have need for Jesus Himself.

For example, today, I was talking with a friend who needed some serious encouragement and prayer. And on the spot, I just stopped and prayed, I thanked God for who He is and for His faithfulness despite the circumstances and I asked for what my dear friend needed. See we need to get to a point where prayer becomes a conversation with Jesus rather than a request form. Where prayer doesn’t just happen when we want something from Him. We need prayer because it relates us to Jesus and it humbles us before Him and unites us with fellow believers.

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests we have asked of him. {1 John 5:14-15}

I’ve found myself praying for a desire for prayer. And my thought is, if I can find some way to pray everyday even just for a desire to pray, something has to change eventually. I’m tired of prayers consisting of apologies to Jesus for not praying enough in that day, prayers being a “maybe” part of my walk with the Lord. I’m tired of using prayer just to get what I want rather than letting it build my relationship with Christ. In saying that, I have to be willing to make myself uncomfortable for the sake of knowing Jesus. Prayer is stretching me, Jesus is stretching me.

Be stretched. Be changed by the power of His calling. Pray for for desire, for devotion, for a love for Christ that leads to a need for prayer and please, pray for prayer.

 

 

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