Sunday, July 10, 2011

Praying for Prayers

Something that is on my heart lately is prayer; don’t get me wrong, it’s been on my heart previously, but it’s risen like a high tide lately. The subject has been roiling around in the undercurrents of my thoughts for some time and just recently the wave has finally risen up and hit the beach.

Prayer is a direct link to God. It’s as if the power of the Holy Spirit is a vast oil reserve and all we need to do to drill into it and pump it out is set up a prayer well.

Matthew 7:7-10 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. "Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?”

Some people are great at solid prayer and do it so well it amazes me. I’ve had several people tell me I’m one such person. But, I must confess I don’t think that’s true. Sure, I’m a wordsmith by trade and I can string together some compelling syntax, but as we can tell from the bible, polished vocabularies and purple prose don’t define a heart truly smitten with God. In fact, the bible is rife with grammatical errors and commentary that proves many who authored the passages were poorly educated in the literary sense. The ability to write well and speak well doesn’t necessarily equal the ability to pray well – even if it might seem so on the outside. The white-washed fence analogy comes to mind…

In thinking how to fix this, there’s a need to tally up the many of the obstacles I face. When I stop to consider who and what I want to pray for, I’m nearly overwhelmed to the point of paralysis. There’s always a seemingly unending list of people who need prayer. There’s always a list of things my family and friends need. There’s always a list of things others ask me to pray for and always a need for prayer for the church.

While John Wesley, founder of the Methodist Church, managed to find time to pray for eight hours a day, I just don’t see that happening in my life. And, if it did, I still feel like when I said the day’s final ‘amen’ I’d immediately think of something or someone I left out. Doh!

Another thing that scratches at me like a thorn in my shoe is the old “I’ll be praying for you” spiel. How often do we say that, meaning full well to lift others up, but never go beyond that comment? I do it far more than I’d like to admit. I know by saying that, I’ve made a covenant to lift someone or something up to God, so why don’t I always follow through 100%?

By saying “I’ll be praying for you” are we really doing anything more than offering comfort to those who hear the words? I honestly think it does little good beyond that if we don’t follow through with real, heartfelt prayer.

Another thing that gets me is almost a shame of knowing I should be praying more fervently, a notion that “I’m not worthy” that creeps in when I realize my prayers aren’t as frequent, specific and often as they should be. Knowing these things, why don’t I take full advantage of the power God has placed within me and within my grasp?

Furthermore, why do so many others who walk with Christ do the same thing? I’m sure it’s a combination of our fallen flesh, the storms of life and spiritual warfare, culminating in a prayer drought. But, this is something I’ve known for awhile, yet I still fall short…
What I’d like to ask today is that everyone reading these words join with me in praying one specific prayer, every day.

Father God,
Please help us become more effective with our prayers, every moment of every day.

I ask this is your Son’s precious and Holy name.

Matthew 18:19 "Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.

If we all pray that every day, fervently, meaningfully and sincerely, then we’ll all drill deeper into the power of the Holy Spirit, giving us all renewed strength in Him.

The feeling I get when I see a prayer answered is incredible. Knowing we can all experience that feeling every day is exciting.

If you’re willing, I’d ask that you experience it with me.

Now, I need to stop typing and start praying. When you’re done reading this, I ask that you pray, then reply to let everyone know that prayers are going out. Power is going out and Jesus is alive.

Luke 8:46 But Jesus said, "Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me."

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