We all know that prayer should be our first thought in every situation but often it’s not.
Sure, the big scary situations in life have a way of turning our hearts to God in a second, but what about the everyday little things? Why do we try so hard to do things without the Lord’s help?
A lack of prayer results from a lack of faith. We cease to pray when we doubt that God actually cares about us and our personal problems or when we that think He has more important matters to tend to than our small problems.
The reality, though, is that God does care about us and our daily needs. 1 John 5:14-15 encourages believers by teaching:“And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.” In addition, Psalm 145:18 says, “The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth.”
Some of us don’t pray because we feel more like prayer chumps than prayer warriors. We get discouraged easily. We hear the story of someone who spends an hour or so every morning in prayer and think that we could never do that. For example, Martin Luther, the great Protestant reformer, once remarked, “If I fail to spend two hours in prayer each morning, the devil gets the victory through the day. I have so much business I cannot get on without spending three hours daily in prayer.”
Take heart! You don’t need to be an expert to pray. We tend to expect that because we are Christians we should be able to pray like a prayer warrior without any practice and then we get discouraged when that turns out not to be the case. An active prayer life isn’t something you either have or don’t. It’s something you develop.
No artist paints a masterpiece the first time. No writer publishes their first draft. No musician sells the recording of their practice time. No one runs a marathon without a lot of training. Nobody prays like a prayer warrior without first cultivating a life of prayer.
We need to forget about our insecurities and start coming to our Father like a child who doesn’t know how to talk and over time you will no longer be a prayer chump but a prayer warrior.
One great way to practice is by coming to our sanctuary on Tuesday evenings from 7 to 8 p.m. The room is set up for you to quietly engage God in prayer away from the normal distractions you face at home and elsewhere.
Challenge yourself to stay for the whole hour. You may find that it goes by faster than you thought it would. Feel free to begin your prayer time by being honest with God about your discomfort when it comes to praying. It’s a great way to break the ice.