"We do not pray at all until we are at our wits' end." -Oswald Chambers
I am guilty of this. I know I should pray and I believe in the power of prayer, but I certainly need to do it more. I tend to think of it as a higher priority when things are going wrong or I am completely at my wits' end, but prayer is so much more than that. Can you relate to me on this? Maybe it's because we don't know how to pray.
So, how should we pray?
Prayer has been proven many times in the Bible to be of great use to all of us. It is powerful and we don't even realize it and I believe we take it for granted if we even pray at all. It is certainly the single, greatest, untapped resource for believers.
Prayer to most of us is when we simply make a request to God for something or someone. We say things like, God, please help so and so, please help me obtain this or that, help me, help someone, do this, do that. Do we ever pray and just sit and listen? Prayer is a way of communicating directly to our Father. Think of it as an open communication channel that when we turn it on (start to pray) we can speak directly to God and listen for His word back to us. Kind of like a telephone call, but obviously a little more powerful than that.
So do we pray because we feel obligated? Are we praying because we want something or want someone to have something?
As you can see from James 5:13-18, prayer is extremely powerful. What most of us do today is use it as a last resort. Typically, if we are sick for example, we will do everything in our power to fix ourselves, meanwhile never praying about it, until we have tried everything we can, and then we resort to our last attempt - prayer. Or how about when we wait until bedtime to pray, not that this is a bad thing or anything, but you wait until your lying in the bed looking up at the ceiling and spend about 20 seconds praying so you can hurry up to sleep or you just fall asleep in the process around 12 seconds in or so.
I think what is happening here (me included), is that we are missing the point of prayer. Prayer comes first. When we are in trouble, we should pray. When we get sick, we should pray. We pray not only for things, but to glorify God and speak to Him. To spend time with Him. To Him.
A lot of us are afraid to pray because we never know how to do it, what to say, afraid we will do it wrong, or just feel silly sitting there. This is why God gave us His Word. Jesus Himself told us how we should pray and modeled it for us. There are 5 prayer principles that Jesus talks about when it comes to prayer from Matthew 6:9-15. Here is the 1st one:
First, we need to acknowledge the greatness of God. Basically saying God, you are amazing, wonderful, and I stand in awe of you and your greatness. We should respect God. Imagine the fact that our Creator allows us to approach the throne and communicate directly to Him. Think about that for a minute, amazing!
Question: Are you moved by the fact that God allows us to talk directly to Him? If not, why not?