Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Hard Hearted Prayerlessness

Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praises. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him.-James 5:13-15
Reflection:It happens so easily. One day I think I have too much on my plate to spend time with God. The next day I think I’d rather sleep in than get out of bed…but I will pray later…and then I don’t.  Before you know it, days have gone by and I am running on spiritual fumes to keep my job, my relationships and my mood stabilized. I should never be surprised when I come crashing down and realize the neglect of my prayer life has sunk me. And yet I find myself wondering where I went wrong time and time again.
These verses in the book of James show us that prayer is not about petitioning for one aspect of our lives whether it be suffering or celebration. Prayer is about a relationship. Whatever is happening, we should be praying.  We should be as dependent on that relationship as we are for air.  So why aren’t we?
In The Prayer Life, Andrew Murray tells the story of a minister speaking to a woman who is struggling to pray. The minister tells her,” As you go to your inner chamber, however cold and dark your heart may be, do not try in your own might to force yourself into the right attitude. Bow before him, and tell him that he sees in what a sad state you are that your only hope is in him. Trust him with a childlike trust to have mercy upon you, and wait upon him. In such a trust you are in a right relationship to him. You have nothing; he has everything.”
All of our striving and work at having a good prayer life will fail.  Loving Christ is the only way to have the fellowship with God we need.  n a romantic relationship, we often yearn to spend time with our partners. We love our children or family members and long to be with them. We are sad when a friend moves away because we can no longer spend time with them. Love of Christ must drive us to invest in a prayer relationship.  Only when we realize how truly helpless we are without him are our relationships with God nourished.
Prayer:God, we have an aversion to your holiness that keeps us from spending time with you.  We take for granted the privilege that prayer is and choose our own endeavors not understanding that prayer is the lifeblood of our soul.  Without it, we are living in the flesh in our lives.  Help us to fall more in love with Jesus so we are driven by love for him to our knees.

(Originally published by me on The Redemptive Pursuit website)

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