Prayer Is Difficult
This morning I was having a conversation with God. It wasn’t a conversation asking Him for anything. It wasn’t a conversation questioning why specific things haven’t happened for me yet. Instead, I was just talking to Him about my day. I simply invited Him in as my sweet friend to walk side by side with me as I awoke and made plans for my day.
And then I started wondering when I had a transition of going from saying ‘Amen’ to Jesus in prayers, ending our dialogue, to being in constant communication with Him that people probably stare at me when I randomly burst out laughing in the middle of a Starbucks line. Like, come on people, don’t you know it’s a joke between me and Jesus (and He is surprisingly really funny). This. Is. Not.Normal. Until you start to understand prayer. And that is when my conversations with God changed.
Let me start off by encouraging you. Prayer is difficult! The apostles knew that it wouldn’t come easy for most of us. Paul says in Romans 15:30 to join him in his ‘struggle’ in prayer. When I think about struggle, I think about training for a marathon. And if you ever want to run a marathon…. DON’T. Kidding. But seriously, if you want to then you need to TRAIN. Trust me on this. It will not go well for you if you don’t (yes, I know from experience. I’m a stubborn athlete).
The training will be difficult. It will take a lot of perseverance. A lot of mental reinforcement. A lot of convincing yourself that even though your legs are screaming to stop, that you must keep pushing forward. Why? Because it will be worth it when you cross the finish line.
This is prayer.
Let me take a step back and walk out what prayer looks like from God’s eyes. And I want to be very clear with you, because it’s important you understand.
First, I need to make evident that I do not have this all figured out. I never will. If I had it all figured out that would mean God’s work would be done with me and that terrifies me. He is constantly working on my heart, molding me every single day. So I am struggling right alongside you. Isn’t that a relief? You are not in this alone.
Ok, let’s start with what prayer is not. Prayer is not about you begging God over and over for something thinking that if you ask enough that He will become irritated with you and then He will move because He has to. It’s not like when my niece keeps asking me the same question over and over and over and over and finally my response is ‘OK FINE JUST STOP ASKING ME.’ That’s not prayer. Prayer is not God waiting around for you to ask Him the same thing ‘x’ amount of times until He decides ‘Ok, now I can respond.’
When we look at prayer based on how something may look in our reality, we are missing out on what He is doing behind the scenes. We have to position our hearts to look beyond our reality, step into Heaven, and trust that He is hearing our requests and is responding speedily.
God did not design us to be passive humans. Of course God doesn’t need us for anything. But He doesn’t want us to sit back and wait for Him. In fact, we are partners with Him on this walk on earth. We are His allies. Through prayer, God gives us power and authority to change events in our lives. It is in our blood stream to move mountains. Did you hear me? IT IS IN YOUR DNA.
Prayer is based on repetition. It can sometimes be strenuous. It is constant. The ‘Amen’ you say after a prayer is your declaration that THIS WILL HAPPEN. It isn’t an ending. Whenever you think you may be finished praying, I believe you’re just getting warmed up.
Prayer is a time where God builds us up, in the midst of a broken world. It is His time to fill us with the Holy Spirit to partner with Him to fight the constant attacks from the enemy.
Through prayer, Jesus taught us to call Him Abba, Papa, Father. These are intimate names. That’s because prayer is intimate. When you pray, the Father is running to you with arms wide open, ready to embrace you with sweet kisses on your cheeks. He is expecting you. Think about someone you hold dearly in your life. When you first see them, you get so excited to embrace them. That is how God feels about you every time you pray. He’s waiting for you.
We need to be children of Christ that are interested in prayer that works. We need to be children of God that bang on Heaven’ doors. Reminding ourselves that God is not waiting on the other side of the door waiting til we knock 5 more times til he moves. That is heinous thinking. God is not bothered by our requests. Your constant prayers and communication with your Father is not bothering Him. You are His Partner in invoking the Kingdom.
Ephesians 6:18: And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
Yes, prayer can be difficult. It can be messy. It can be scary. It can be confusing. But it is also life giving. It is also bigger than the mess. It is also bigger than our fears. It is also bigger than doubt.
God wants us to ask Him things. He wants us to talk to Him. He wants us to invite Him into our days. In fact, He doesn’t just want it, He loves it.
Yes, there will be times prayers aren’t answered and He warns us, ‘You do not have because you do not ask ‘ (James 4:2). He is asking you to seek Him, to ask Him. And there will be times even when we ask that prayers aren’t answered the way we want. But He will use those unanswered prayers for your benefit. Remember, we have to look past our current reality and see into Heaven.
And yes, there will be times He will wait to move until we ask. If God stepped in any time we were about to make a mistake without His guidance, we wouldn’t learn to be completely dependent on Him. When we pray and ask Him for our heart’s desires, He is teaching us humility.
You have everything inside of you to pray. He has already equipped your DNA with more than enough resources. He has secured our victory over the enemy so that when we pray, we can have trust that we can move mountains because we have already won through Calvary.
Jesus has seen it all and sees what is ahead. That is why prayer is important because it allows us to remain in Him. In fact, He urges us to pray, to stay close to Him. Don’t you think if He urges us to pray that it is because He knows if we don’t, then we will wander out from Him and we will suffer the consequences?
Friends, prayer is difficult. But it is nothing to fear. Jesus is perfect so you don’t have to be, especially in your communication with Him. Start talking to Him today, He is waiting for you.
With Grace and Love,