I don’t know about you, but through the years of my spiritual journey, consistency in my prayer life has been one of my biggest challenges. I do pretty good to find the time / make the time for Bible reading and/or Bible study. I am regularly involved in fellowship with other believers. Giving of my time and resources to God has never really been an issue. But this discipline of taking time, intentionally, and regularly to commune with God in prayer has always seem to be a challenge.
Is a change possible?” our sighing heart says, “For me it seems it is entirely impossible!” Do you know why we answer like that? It is simply because we have heard the call to prayer as the voice of Moses and as a command of the law. Moses and his law have never given anyone the power to obey.
Rather than seeing prayer from that perspective, God is saying to you, “Why not give yourself over into my hands? Only believe that I am ready to help you in prayer. I long to pour my love into your heart so that you, in the consciousness of weakness, may confidently rely on me to bestow the grace of prayer. Just as I will cleanse you from all other sins, so also will I deliver you from the sin of prayerlessness—only do not seek the victory in your own strength. Bow before me as one who expects everything from his Savior. Let your soul keep silence before me, however lame you feel your state is. Be assured of this: I will teach you how to pray.”
I had never looked at prayer like this before. God has promised to give us grace all other things in answer to prayer, so, first and most of all, He will give me the grace of a praying heart. What a fool I have been to think that God will give me all these other blessings, but when it comes to developing the habit of prayer and growing a praying heart, that it must come by personal effort! Thank God, I have begun to comprehend: The Lord Jesus himself is in my prayer closet,
Our whole relationship to the Lord Jesus must be a new thing.
- I must believe in His infinite love, which longs to have communion with me every moment and to keep me in the enjoyment of His fellowship.
- I must believe in His divine power, which has conquered sin and will truly keep me from it.
- I must believe in Him who, as the great Intercessor, through the Spirit, will inspire each member of His body with joy and power for communion with God in prayer.
My prayer life must be brought entirely under the control of Christ and His love. Then for the first time prayer will become what it really is: the natural and joyous breathing of the spiritual life, by which the heavenly atmosphere is inhaled and then exhaled in prayer.
May we fall down in utter weakness at the feet of the Lord Jesus to find there that victory comes through the might and love that stream from His countenance. Faith finds strength, not in the thought of what you will do, but in the changeless faithfulness and love of Christ, who once again helps and assures you that those who wait on Him shall not be ashamed.
- What is your view of prayer? What motivates you to pray? Duty? Self-preservation? It’s just what Christians do..? Desire for deep, genuine, communion with God?
- How would it change your prayer life if you could meet with Jesus in the flesh?
- Jesus longs to have communion with you every moment! He longs to enable you to remain in fellowship with him where He can enjoy communion with you! How does that picture affect how you view prayer?
- What kind of prayer life do you want? How do you need to change your thinking regarding prayer?
Adapted from Andrew Murray Living a Prayerful Life, Chapter 4