Prayer is beautiful. When I am lonely or sad, I know I can turn to the LORD in prayer, and when I focus on Him and all He is for me I am full joy, peace that transcends my current feelings. And when I am angry, I can confess all my burning emotions, and when I get to the end of it I find I can forgive the one who has made me feel that way. Prayer is indeed beautiful and wonderful, humbling and worshipful.
But although I know all that, there are many times when I would rather just avoid it. Usually its during the times when nothing is heavy on my heart. It’s when I know I ought to be in my daily devotional even though I’d rather just get started on my day. So I think, ‘Alright, I’ll read my bible. That doesn’t take up too much time. But praying really isn’t that necessary right now.’ Of course, I don’t actually believe this. I know prayer is talking to God, the Living God, whom I am to want to have a relationship with. I mean, we don’t talk to our family just when we feel like it and the rest of the time ignore them. But too often it is just too easy to brush off God.
I’ve been in a bible study the last few weeks on the subject of prayer, and through it I’ve realized just how much I take prayer for granted and the petitions I put into it. I really am not deep into my prayers and I really don’t focus too much on the relationship bit. And while I was in the bible study, the subject came up with how sometimes we feel too busy to pray, although we actually know prayer helps busy days. And I began to think: what if every time I didn’t feel like praying I wrote down why. For example, if I really wanted to get to a computer game as soon as possible, I would write down, “Today I don’t want to pray because I’d rather play a computer game about sharks eating people.” Or, “Today I don’t want to pray because I need to put out the garbage.” How stupid do those sound? Pretty ridiculous. And as I thought about that I wondered if writing it down would reveal to me my selfishness in a situation and lead me to prayer.
So what about you? Do you know the sweetness of prayer? Do find sometimes that you don’t want to pray? What are your reasons for not wanting to pray? I challenge you to look at those reasons and truly realize if they are legitimate reasons. Most of the time they won’t be. Even if the thing you want to do is a good thing, wouldn’t you want to pray about it so that God is with you, helping you, and blessing you as you do it? You should still make time to talk to God who longs to have a relationship with you. He loves you so much He wants to hear you talk and to talk to you.
“35Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” ~Mark 1
“15Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. 16But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” ~Luke 5
‘5“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
9“This, then, is how you should pray:
“ ‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11Give us today our daily bread.
12And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’
14For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.’ ~Matthew 6
“16Rejoice always, 17pray continually, 18give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” ~1 Thessalonians 5