In so many Christian’s lives and certainly in my own, “I’ll be praying” has become a more spiritual sounding, “I’m thinking about you”. We don’t say, “I’m thinking about you" because we know we have something much more powerful than our own lackluster thoughts. We have the God of the universe we can come to and plead with. And honestly that kinda trumps any lameo world offer you can offer. Here try this candle- it relieves stress. No thanks. But also I think we say, “I’ll be praying” because it’s a habit, it’s Christian culture and it sounds good. It’s sometimes the only thing you can say.
But here’s the problem....we say “I’ll be praying” in substitution for “I’m thinking of you” and we don’t actually do anything but think about that person. Maybe a shot gun prayer a time or two though out the day. But we’re certainly not pleading. Not wrestling. Not calling out. Not lifting up. Why?
Time. We’re living in a season of hyper-speed all the time. We only have time for shotgun prayers. We know Jesus knows the desires of our hearts, then surely he knows we want ____ to be healed. Or ____ to find a job. If all we have time for is little shout outs for strength or healing we can actually limit ourselves from experiencing the real power of prayer.
I love looking at the Psalmist who looks like he had nothing but time as he writes and writes and writes prayers of petitions to his Father. He prayed them because he believed in who he was praying to. Are we afraid to pray because we’re afraid of what will or worse what won’t happen? Praying is a humbling act of recognizing the complete sovereignty of God in your life and the lives you’re praying for.
But here is the kicker.... that shouldn’t make us uncomfortable. If it does we’re not spending enough time with Jesus. There it is again, time. We don’t have time to spend with God, so we don’t really know who we’re praying too. The more time you spend with your Saviour the more natural prayer becomes. It almost flows out of you. You see him as living, powerful, sustaining, loving, sovereign and perfect. That’s a God you want to pray to.
[Father forgive the way I selfishly choose to use my time. Forgive me for not believing in the power of prayer and abusing the comfort of it without pursuing a deeper understanding of it. Father make me praying person, convict my heart and give me a burden to pray for the people you’ve placed in my life. Lord make my sometimes daunting daily prayer cards feel like Christmas morning. Because this time isn’t about me asking for things but rather unique communion time with you. Give me ears to hear and eyes to see you moving. It’s because of your son that I can come boldly before you and ask anything. You’re committed to teaching me to pray, and because of that promise I have confidence to come fumbling before you this morning.]
Lord, I come, I confess
Bowing here I find my rest
Without You I fall apart
You're the One that guides my heart
Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You
Where sin runs deep Your grace is more
Where grace is found is where You are
And where You are, Lord, I am free
Holiness is Christ in me
(Lord, I need you. Matt Maher)