Do you struggle sometimes to pray. To sincerely trust God more than we do our-self? Do you wonder if He’s really going to ‘show’ up in our life when we need Him the most? I mean the whole idea of God being engaged and concerned with my struggles and fears can seem laughable. I’m sure He has bigger ‘fish to fry’ than my petty little anxieties and circumstances.
If you’re like me, you might find yourself praying timidly around the edges of your life, asking for general things like favor, health, wisdom, etc. We’re easily convinced He has better things to do than talk with us.
It’s easy to feel that way. It’s not true of course, but it can ‘feel’ that way. We keep our conversations with Him short and superficial, we avoid asking what we’re in true need of, uncertain of our status with Him. Sometimes it’s because of the fear we have about His true ‘answer’ to our deepest concerns, but I think its also because we don’t feel worthy of much blessing. We are keenly aware of our own shortcomings, inconsistencies, and hypocrisy.
In the opposite extreme, sometimes we can totally take prayer for granted, rushing into things we go through our ‘check-list’ of needs, heedless of who and how we’re talking to the one who saved our very souls. We charge ahead in our demands, wanting answers to our ever present emergencies, approaching God without the reverence and awe He deserves.
If we’re being totally honest… often the ‘real’ reason we’re visiting with Him in prayer at all is to ask for stuff or to ask Him to affirm our wishes as His will. He becomes sort of a cosmic cookie jar rather than the Creator and Lord of all.
In an effort to find some balance its important that we approach Him with the proper levels of both familiarity and respect. It’s vital that we find a healthy balance and perspective for the amazing opportunity that Prayer provides the Christian. In the end, prayer is all about relationship. It’s not about ‘getting’ but growing.
For those who feel unworthy, we don’t need to be afraid to approach Him and for those who are simply spiritual consumers, we shouldn’t over assume on His blessings. Thankfully, we’re offered grace for either imbalance and scripture grants us insights into how to access His faith and power despite our inconsistent and often messy spirituality.
I’ve been struggling with being too timid, too conscious of my shortcomings. Recently I was reminded to pray with more courage and a clearer purpose, to ask with less hesitation and more hope.
Quick couple of thoughts for you to consider if you’re in a similar state.
- Instead of asking God for generic things, I’m learning to ask for specific issues. To be bold and ask for more, not less. (for example – instead of just asking for His favor or blessing over those who are ill or struggling in their health. I’m asking instead for Him to “heal’ them completely.) I’m getting bolder, asking for the miracle and not just comfort, to see God bring wholeness from the brink of death or despair. (understanding that despite my boldness, His will isn’t always to fix things)
- I’m also learning to pray with an understanding that God’s strength and power are already ‘mine’ to access. I’m learning to pray with more confidence, trusting Him for the strength I need when I’m weak, trusting that those scriptural provisions of the Holy Spirit already exist, and I only need to ‘come under’ them or walk ‘into’ them in my day.
This isn’t word of faith stuff or positive thinking, it’s a firmer grip on the work of Christ on Calvary and my status as ‘His’ adopted son.
According to the scriptures, I’ve inherited His strength and wisdom and insight, I simply need to ‘remember’ that and step into it with the confidence of His work on my behalf. I’m not a beat up, worthless piece of poo in my redemptive life, I’m a son of royalty, a prince and heir to the King.
Rather than giving me hubris and overconfidence, these insights give me the courage to engage my life head on.
I don’t have to slide around the scary things in my day or week, I can confront them directly when required. I don’t have to live waiting for the next crisis to crush me, I have every thing the day will require in Christ.
So do you.
Peace out, Pastor Brad.