If prayer is difficult for you, consider yourself in good company – even the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. And, I will confess, sometimes prayer is the most difficult thing I do all day!
There are lots of reasons why it’s hard to pray, and one reason is simply time – it takes time to pray and I’m busy. Isn’t grabbing a few minutes in the shower, or while I’m running errands sufficient prayer time? Does God really want more than that out of my busy day? Besides, how long can it take to hand God the daily “to-do” list?
It doesn’t take but a few minutes to give a handyman a list of repairs.
And a child can give Santa a Christmas list in barely any time.
“God, I’ve been really good; I am involved in ministry, I’ve gone to church almost every Sunday, and I baked a casserole for my sick neighbor. I would like this, that, and the other thing, and if you think of anything else you want to bring me that would be great!”
Unfortunately, there are times when my prayers degenerate into words that don’t sound a whole lot different than these illustrations. Those are the times when my life is as powerless as a fictitious genie in a lamp; I simply go about the day checking tasks off my list.
Oh sure, I get lots of things accomplished, and people might even compliment me on how busy I am. I’m competent and fairly intelligent; I can maneuver through my agenda pretty well. But there is no power from God. There is nothing about my life that makes God look good; nothing which brings Him glory and honor.
Fortunately, God is gracious and doesn’t let me live this way for very long before He reminds me of who He is: The Mighty God, the Holy One of Israel, the Everlasting Father, the High and Lofty One, the Lord Almighty, the King of Heaven’s Armies, the Sovereign and Majestic Ruler over all. He reminds me that if I want to accomplish anything for Him, I must come before Him in surrender and prayer. If I want to experience His power, it is unleashed in prayer. He calls me to my knees. So I pray.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5 NIV
“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:13 NLT
Every minute of every hour of every day God is waiting for me to spend time with Him in prayer. Why do I hesitate? Why do you? He’s available right now.
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” – Hebrews 4:16 NIV
How long has it been since you spent more than a hurried moment with God? How long has it been since you experienced His almighty power?
“You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you. Hear my prayer, Lord; listen to my cry for mercy. When I am in distress, I call to you, because you answer me.” – Psalm 86:5-6 NIV
“Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.”
– Isaiah 65:24 NIV
Isn’t the God of the universe worth spending time with? He’s waiting. Will you go to Him now? Will you linger for a while and enjoy His glorious presence?