Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. - Colossians 4:2
There are times when I do not want to pray. Times when I don't want to ask for God's help, seek his counsel, or express my frustration to my Creator.
For me this stems from my pride. My ego wants to control things - be angry for a while - I'm embarrassed and do not want to admit I am wrong before the Lord.
There are times when I wonder does prayer really work? When I see disease, death, and hardship in the world, I ask, "Is God even listening? Did he just set things in motion and then leave us all here to deal with it, try to find happiness, and have faith that our reward is in heaven?"
When I have days like these that string together, I am reminded of this verse in Colossians and I am encouraged to not give up on prayer. I'm convicted to continue praying even when I don't want to, when times are tough, when I am tired and I just want to sink into myself. I remember that I am called to persist, endure, and be devoted to conversation with my Creator and Savior.
I remember that it is an amazing act of love for God to hear my prayers, to know the desires of my heart, to understand what I need even when I cannot form the words to say it. The Holy Spirit understands and groans for me before the Father. He understands my weakness and does not reject me but opens his ears to hear me. (Romans 8:26)
I'm called to not simply repeat a prayer I've memorized, but rather to cry out from an awareness of what is going on around me. To share what is causing my discomfort, to express my desire to hide like Adam and Eve, and to fight off temptation. It must come from a desire to be fully aware of my need to lay myself bare before the Lord. It is a mindset that is the same as Christ's in the garden - who did not impose his own will but humbly submitted himself to his father's plan, crying out to him in prayer when he needed guidance, encouragement and support. (Luke 22:42)
I must also have a thankful heart when I pray. A heart that remembers what life was like before I knew the wisdom of Christ and before the Lord's instructions were something I delighted in. A heart that rejoices because it remembers the longing of the soul that craved to be restored - born again and it does not want to see those days again.
I am to have a thankful heart as I recall the how God has shown me favor time and time again, how His mercies never cease, and how he has provided for me, led me and engaged me. (Lamentations 3:22-23)
LORD, thank you for your faithfulness and mercy. Thank you for allowing me to converse with you each day - to bring my concerns and praises before you. Thank you for hearing my prayers. Holy Spirit help me to obey your instructions so that my life is pleasing to you. Holy Spirit thank you for interceding for me when I cannot speak and don't know what to say. Jesus thank you for the work of the cross and the resurrection which gives me access to the Father. Reveal in me whatever needs to be brought to the Light, bring my prayers for the Father, and advocate for me today! Amen.
Questions To Consider:
- How would you describe your prayer life?
- What barriers exist that keep you from engaging the LORD in prayer?
- Do you bring all areas of your life before the LORD in prayer?
Make it a great day!