What Does Take For You to Pray?
Devotional/Discussion of the Day:
8 In every place, then, I want the men to lift their hands up reverently in prayer, with no anger or argument. 1 Timothy 2:8 (NJB)
16 Ultimately, if we should list as sacraments all the things that have God’s command and a promise added to them, then why not prayer, which can most truly be called a sacrament? It has both the command of God and many promises. If it were placed among the sacraments and thus given, so to speak, a more exalted position, this would move men to pray. (1)
I’ve caught myself saying it so many times, when I don’t know what to do to help someone in a traumatic or sticky situation.
“well. I can’t help you, but I will pray for you…”
Do we realize what we are saying? Do we think so little of the power of God that responds to our pleas, to our requests, that we count it as less than being helpful? Or are we assuming that prayer is just some kind of cop-out – and we don’t expect Him to really hear us or answer us? Shouldn’t prayer be our first resort, not our last? Shouldn’t going to the Father through Christ, with the Holy Spirit guiding (and interpreting our prayers) be our primary
I think, to be honest, the answer is a reflection of my (ashamedly) minimal prayer life. For when I am praying more, when I am in conversation with God regularly throughout the day, that is not my attitude. I think this is one of the dangers of a structured prayer life as well, where we see prayer the equivalent of writing letters home from camp. Or when prayer is separated and segregated from normal life, from our normal interactions of the day.
What if our life, every moment was one where we wondrously interacted with God, where we didn’t hesitate, where it wasn’t bound by time or even location? What if this wasn’t a public display, but a ongoing discussion from our hearts to His? How would we change given such a constant relationship? Would we tolerate sin in our lives as much? Would we struggle with anxiety? Or would we treat it like the sacred, grace-filled moment it is?
SOme challenging thoughts on a Monday… when prayer is probably the last thing on our mind… except for one prayer of desperation…..as we cry,
“Lord, Have Mercy!”
Seeing He has, is a really good place to start!
(1) Tappert, T. G. (Ed.). (1959). The Book of Concord the confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. (p. 213). Philadelphia: Mühlenberg Press.
- Some wise words to encourage us to pray (justifiedandsinner.com)