Imagine you are working for a large company and your boss gives you a 5 page document, and she wants you to make 80 copies. She walks you down the hall and shows you the biggest, fastest, state-of-the-art copying machine, and says, “Here, this is completely at your disposal!” And you promptly sit down at a desk, grab a pencil and a ream of blank paper, and proceed to hand copy the documents she wants, one word at a time.
That is crazy. You are offered the best resource in the world, and you do the job your own way with your own abilities. But the crazier thing is, you and I often do the same type of thing every day! God Himself has given us the greatest resource in the universe: Himself! And He has given us access to Himself through a means we can use anytime, anywhere, and for any reason: prayer.
Why don’t we pray as we should? Why are we willing to operate in our own strength and struggle before we call on the greatest Person in the universe to help us? Who, by the way, wants to help us, actually commanded us to call on Him, and always delivers?
The answer: I don’t really know. I have been a Christian for 16 years, and I still can’t figure this out. I am sure it has something to do with my pride. But God’s Word makes me sure of something else: He will break my pride until I become dependant on Him for everything, so the glory may rest on Whom it is due. Not me. The Lord.
Colossians 4:2 reminds us: “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” We need that reminder. Prayer is the thing we all need to get back to, reevaluate, tighten up in our own walks with God. This verse gives us three directives in prayer:
- I need to pray consistently. Not just before bed or before supper. Not just in church. Always. Constantly. Persistently. God is always with us, at home, work, school, parties, funerals, victory, defeat, morning, evening, rain or shine…Oh, to dwell in sweet communion with the Lord 24/7. Not just knowing He is there, but realizing He is there!
- I need to pray expectantly. An oft-repeated phrase really annoys me. And it’s more the tone that is usually behind it than the words stated. It’s this: “All we can do is pray.” A large SIGH usually follows or precedes it. Like prayer is the ultimate “Hail Mary” pass (pardon the pun, I didn‘t come up with the name) from earth to heaven. I’ll just throw it up to heaven, maybe the right Person will get the message. WRONG! God hears, God responds, things happen - but we need to be watchful, as in “pray, then step back and watch at what God is going to do, because we know He is going to do something…for sure!!!”
- I need to pray thankfully. Not the laundry list. Not the Christmas wish-list. Sure, we bring our needs before Him, but it must always be done in a spirit of gratitude for what He has already done. It is also thanking Him ahead of time for what He is going to do. This is an attitude of trust and faith. God, we need you so desperately, so thank you for bringing us this far, and we know you are going to take us the rest of the way.
The next couple of blogs are going to be about prayer. But let’s not just talk about it. Let’s do it!
p.s. - prayerlessness is carelessness!