Five Fundamentals For Your Devotional Life
DAY 3 OF 5
Why Do We Pray?
Prayer is an essential part of everyday life. In fact, prayer is as much (and more) a language of reality as mathematics, chemistry, or physics. The supernatural and the natural are not separate in Christ—for all reality is His reality. As such, God invites us to pray about everything, not as if it were so, but because it is so.
Prayer may seem other-worldly, but it is decidedly this-worldly. If it weren’t, Paul wouldn’t tell us to “pray without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17), “pray in the Spirit at all times” (Ephesians 6:18 NLT), and to “devote ourselves to prayer” (Acts 6:4).
A rich prayer life—or rather, a life of prayer—is not the pinnacle of devotion. It’s the foundation. We can’t expect further progress in our spiritual lives without substantive prayer. Christ, whom we’re to imitate, rose early and often, in order to pray earnestly and in solitude.
Prayer is only so good at getting what we want. But if we trust God, we’re assured we’ll get what we need. As Jesus himself promised, “Your Father knows what you need before you ask him” (Matthew 6:8). Prayer, on the other hand, is excellent at getting what God wants. As 1 John attests, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” (5:14 NIV). Progress in prayer isn’t necessarily when we get what we want, but when we trust God enough to ask Him for whatever He wants.
Prayer doesn’t exclude personal requests, but they aren’t its essence. At the heart of prayer is a crossroads. To the left, we try to change God, and get Him to do things; to the right, we seek to be changed by God, and to do things for Him. One is the way of discipleship; the other isn’t. That’s not to say we can’t ask God for things! Jesus invites us to, and says, “If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it” (John 14:14). But we should examine our prayers and determine for whose name are we asking. Do our prayers flow from loving God before ourselves, or for ourselves?
Write a short letter to God, inquiring about what brings Him happiness and satisfaction.
About this Plan
These are five reflections/meditations on how we can live our devotional life when our faith feels faltering, our prayers seem powerless, and our God seems absent. They challenge our commonly held conceptions about what ...
We would like to thank T.W.S. Hunt, author of Winter with God (BroadStreet Publishing, November 2016) for this 5-day reading plan. For more information, please visit: https://broadstreetpublishing.com/winter-with-god/9781424552986/