There was a single desire in me after reading through chapter 5 in “Christian Beliefs.” That desire was, Pray! Yet as fast as that desire rises up it becomes buried under the myriad of other responsibilities and actions required of us each day. The problem isn’t the other priorities. The problem is permitting lesser priorities to take the place of the much greater priority of praying. This chapter helped stir me toward the faith-filled action of praying.
Prayer and Dependence:
If prayer is a measure of dependence on God then you can measure your dependence on God by evaluating your praying. If you pray little it is safe to say you depend little. As much as we wish this weren’t true there seems to be no biblical way around this conclusion. Rather than letting this discovery burden you with guilt let the wonder of prayer drive you toward praying. Prayer will grow your trust in God and your love for him, thereby deepening your relationship with him. Additionally, prayer is the only means to receive some things in this life. James 4:2 leaves us the inescapable conclusion that failure to ask will result in failure to receive. So, ask!
Prayer and Jesus:
The Christian should find great comfort in his relationship to Jesus the only Mediator between God and man. Because you are in Christ you are able to pray to God with boldness. While this theological truth remains it does not mean the Christian can live sinfully as he pleases and expect his praying to remain unhindered. The fact that a Christian is “in Christ” should motivate his reverent conduct and pursuit of holiness to walk worthy of the gospel that called him from darkness to light.
Prayer and Humility:
Our prayer must be filled with humility. This follows the example of Paul and of our Lord. Paul accepted God’s “no” when Paul prayed to be delivered from his “thorn in the flesh.” Furthermore, Jesus submitted to the Father’s will and drank the cup of atoning death according to God’s will. Our chief desire should also be God’s will regardless what that might “cost.” Yet the Christian must remember God’s will is never a threat. God is good. He delights in giving good things to his children (Luke 11:9-12).
For most of us we don’t need more instruction about prayer as much as we need more faith filled obedience in the action of praying. Go ahead. Pray. Then share an insight that will stir up faith-filled obedience in others.