Encouragement in prayer
Untutored, we tend to think that prayer is what good people do when they are doing their best. It is not. Inexperienced, we suppose that there must be an “insider” language that must be acquired before God takes us seriously in prayer. There is not. Prayer is elemental, not advanced, language. It is the means by which our language becomes honest, true and personal in response to God. It is the means by which we get everything in our lives out in the open before God. – Eugene Peterson
Remember, no one has time to pray; we have to take time from other things that are valuable in order to understand how necessary prayer is. The things that act like thorns and stings in our personal lives will go away instantly when we pray; we won’t fell the smart any more, because we have God’s point of view about them. Prayer means that we get into union with God’s view of other people. – Oswald Chambers
One reason why prayer is so hard for us is that prayer forces us to admit our own spiritual impotence. Its very existence shouts that God is the only source that can make us all we ought to be. – David Jeremiah
Probably the greatest confession that I must make each time I pray is my lack of dependence upon You. You alone are worthy of worship and praise. I confess, Lord, that I honor self above You, circumstances above right, and desires above obedience.
Your grace, Lord, is what I seek today. I ask you, my Heavenly Father, a good father, to show me grace today. I plead for your mercy and I place my hope in you; my plans, my ideals, I yield them all to you. May your name be magnified in all the earth.
A short thought
Prayer is difficult for many reasons but at the crux of the issue is our pride. We think that if God would move a stone or two then we could repave the road all by ourselves. I think of the scene in Disney’s movie, Cars. Lightning McQueen is told that he must pave the road and he will be released. He tears out and spreads pavement over the old road and is delighted that he is done so quickly. It is then pointed out to Lightning that he must remove the old and broken pavement before he spreads new pavement. That is work and it requires time and attention.
I know that often my own prayer life is simply spreading new pavement over the broken pieces of my life. True prayer is the acknowledgment of our need and dependence upon God. This is work. It requires a willingness to actually hear and see what God is accomplishing in our lives and His desire in the lives of others. Just as Lightning McQueen must pay attention and devote his time to the road so must we give our time and attention to our God in prayer.