I was reminded of the power and importance of prayer again tonight. It was needed. I often shoot “arrow” prayers (short little prayers straight to the mark), but was told tonight that I should use “hair-trigger” prayers (prayers that shoot out in response to the least touch).
Sometimes I am afraid to pray because I’m afraid I will be praying for the wrong thing. God seems to have an interesting sense of humor and has often given me just what I prayed for. I’ve seen that happen over and over again and I’ve taken that as a caution to be careful what I pray for, I just might get it. But my dad pointed out some things.
- Fearing to pray because I might pray for the wrong thing is showing a lack of trust in God. He’s not sadistic, out to get me, or enjoys my pain. He loves me and wants what is best for me and He knows what I really want, even if I say it wrong.
- Concerning previous prayers, God probably put those desires in my heart and then was more than happy to give me those desires when I asked for them.
And then I realized something else. One child in particular has been giving me trouble lately. Her little heart is a nasty, ugly, filthy thing that makes me cringe. I have often prayed for wisdom in dealing with her, but I have failed to pray for her. My responsibility lies in how I respond to her and doing the best I can to train her, but I can’t change her. And because of that it is also my responsibility to pray for her (and maybe I should try praying with her) so that God can change her. And, of course, that applies to the rest of my children as well.
Why don’t we pray more?
- “I’m not good enough.” Does that mean you think God is not big enough to make up for your limitations? That is pride. Your responsibility is to ask. God’s responsibility is to provide and you don’t have to worry about how He will be able to do that, just trust Him to do it.
- “I don’t know how.” He can translate our fumbling attempts at conversation. He can read your mind. He just wants you to talk to Him. Make the effort.
- “I don’t have the time.” We have the time for what we want to have time for. That is a major excuse. And we should feel pretty juvenile for even trying that one. ‘We would much sooner pamper our flesh than exercise our spirit.’**
- “I don’t believe it works.” We might not actually admit that, but if we really did believe it worked we would use it more.
So, Lord, I’m hoping you will take these fumbling attempts of mine to straighten out my thinking and help me to realize that I have no excuse. And then I’m hoping that you will help me to change my habit of prayerlessness and help me to teach my children how to live their lives steeped in prayer.
And now I’m going to trust that He can and will answer that prayer, and I am going to go work on my end of things.
**Straight from the mouth of Roger Royer. Smart man. =)