Friday, February 19, 2016

Thoughts on prayer ...

When I think about prayer, I think about some of the great people of prayer that I have read about. There’s George Muller who started each day with several hours of prayer. He was begging God to meet the needs of his orphanage. Martin Luther devoted 2 – 3 hours to prayer each day. There are many more, Susannah Wesley, Jonathan Edwards, etc… I think about a lady that took care of me as a child, Theresa Berkebile. One time when I was staying with her, I witnessed her on her knees in her bathroom early in the morning praying. I know she prayed for me.

Then I started to think about the prayers lives of a lot of people I know. They will say that prayer is important to them, but if asked how long they pray, most would say less than ten minutes. And, I would venture to say that most would not really find satisfaction in their prayer lives. It’s just something they see that they need to do. They feel guilty if they don’t, but their prayers are shallow. Many aren’t anything that they really need God to take care of. Many are so vague, they would never even know if they were answered.

Why the difference between Luther, Muller, Edwards and people today? Why could they pray for hours and we get fidgety after 10 minutes?

Do we really pray prayers that show our dependence on God? Do we ask Him to do the supernatural? Do we really trust Him? Do we really believe He listens and hears every word? Do we really believe that prayer changes things?

Do we acknowledge our need for God? Does our prosperity affect our prayers? It seems unnecessary to pray for our daily bread when our pantries are full of groceries and our checkbook has plenty of money in it. Are we really relying on God to take care of us? Or are we the rich person that Jesus spoke about?

Then I think about how the world of technology has affected us. We rarely have conversations with people any more. Go to a restaurant and watch how many times the people sitting around you are on their phones during their meal. And conversations themselves are changing due to the text message/ Twitter mentality. Can we sit and have really have meaningful discussions anymore?

We are a society that is on the go. We are so busy! There’s never enough time in the day for everything we need to do. Where does God fit into a life that is already that busy? We say prayer is important, but isn’t it one of the first things we cut from our schedule?

Is prayer about changing God? Or changing me?

I want more than anything else in the world, to “know” God – intimately, deeply, and passionately. In order to do that, I must spend time with Him. I must seek Him wholeheartedly. I must be disciplined to not cut that time short. I must remember what I am doing. I am speaking to God - the God that created not only the universe, but the God that created me. He is the same God that parted the Red Sea, that saved Daniel from the lion’s den, that spoke to Moses from a burning bush, and that raised Jesus from the dead. I must never forget who He is - never take Him for granted. I must never take my relationship with Him lightly. Praying to God is a privilege. It demands my full attention, my concentration, my honesty, and my heart.

Praying today that I will have a heart that earnestly desires to spend time in the presence of God.  

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God".
Philippians 4:6

"Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful." Colossians 4:2 "Come near to God and He will come near to you."
James 4:8

"The point of prayer is not to get answers from God, but to have perfect and complete oneness with Him." ~ Oswald Chambers