Convincing Ourselves That Prayer Is Powerful
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I want to make 3 statements about prayer that you may or may not agree with, and then I want to talk about the idea of convincing ourselves that prayer is, in fact, extremely powerful. Here are the 3 statements:
1. You cannot have a strong and spiritually growing church without focused and consistent corporate prayer.
2. You cannot be growing in your relationship with Jesus without prayer being a big part of your life.
3. There are a lot of Christians who attend churches with an almost nonexistent emphasis on prayer and who live their lives spending shockingly little time in prayer.
It is impossible for anyone to speak on how often or how consistent someone else's prayer life is. That is something that each of us have to know about ourselves. What I can say, however, is that probably the best test of our spiritual lives is what our prayer life looks like.
Charles Spurgeon said, "I know of no better thermometer to your spiritual temperature than this, the measure of the intensity of your prayer."
I believe that the above quote is true of our own spiritual lives and the spiritual health of our churches as well. The question I have for myself and anyone reading this right now is how do we convince ourselves that prayer is powerful?
- When things are difficult or problems arise, why do I lean on my own knowledge and problem-solving skills?
- When things are good and everything seems right, why am I so quick to pat myself on the back?
- Why do I find it the most difficult to pray when I am in the midst of the most difficult times?
Today our family went outside to play and Sophie wanted to ride her bike. Her bike was under a couple of other riding toys in the garage and she was having trouble getting it out. I was just a couple of feet away, and I noticed it and started to walk over to help. A funny thing happened. Instead of asking for my help or seeing that I was walking over, she got really frustrated that she could not get the bike out and started to try even harder to no avail. She then got even more frustrated and she almost started crying.
The task she was trying to accomplish was probably impossible for her, but luckily for Sophie it was very easy for me. All she had to do was ask, and out of my love for her and my desire to be there for her, I moved the bike in about 3 seconds and she was off and riding.
It is the height of arrogance, the epitome of ignorance, and the very definition of pride to by-pass GOD and try to do things on our own. Unfortunately, and I can only describe myself here, I am arrogant, ignorant, and extremely prideful. I routinely try to do things on my own and even things that I have no business attempting without GOD.
Every single day of my life, on a subconscious level, I compare myself to the GOD of the Bible and the GOD of the universe, and I choose me. I choose my power and my wisdom and my strength. I have GOD just waiting for me to lift my voice to Him, and I choose me.
So what do we do? If we are really this broken, how can we be fixed? And I think I may have the answer to that too...
This is a call for all of us to spend time on our knees, standing up, with our hands raised, with our heads down, and any other way we can crying out to GOD to heal our hearts, our churches, our nation, and our world. Powerful and passionate prayer, I believe, is one of the biggest things missing from both our personal lives and our churches, so let's do something about it...