… pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
–1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 NIV
We know prayer works, right? We say we do, but often when challenges arise—big or small—we run everywhere but to the throne of grace. We seek affirmation, consolation, and agreement from friends or anyone who will listen. We scour Christian self-help books looking for our answers in someone else’s experiences. Then we tearfully immerse ourselves in worship music, or finally call the pastor and ask him or her to pray, and then commit to attending church more often. All great ideas, but why not just pray?
Could it be that we have learned that sometimes, perhaps maybe even often, God chooses to act in a way contrary to our fleshly desires? He doesn’t follow the instructions we’ve outlined in our “prayer requests,” so in our “we know best” attitude, we start to take a different route. We recite the cursory obligatory prayer, or sometimes don’t bother at all and, instead, plot and manipulate a way to get the answer we want.
A “prayerless” Christian is a powerless and shallow Christian; an easy target for the author of confusion, even false teachings. We need to learn to pray. Really.
What’s on your heart today? Set aside some time to pray according to His Word. Thank Him for the circumstances you’re facing; ask for His will to be done without setting a single parameter. Five minutes later, when you find yourself “working it out” in your own mind—pray again. And then again. Trust Him with the outcome, even when you don’t understand.
- Thank God that He’s always waiting to hear from you.
- Ask Him to help you trust Him with HIS answers.