Are We Afraid to Pray?
Devotional Thoughts for our seemingly broken days:
28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT)
291 Jesus is asking you to pray … You see this very clearly. Nonetheless, how poor your response has been! Everything is a great effort for you: you are like a baby who is too lazy to learn to walk. But in your case, it isn’t just laziness. It is fear, too, and a lack of generosity!
The Second Petition
“Thy kingdom come.”
7 What does this mean?
Answer: To be sure, the kingdom of God comes of itself, without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it may also come to us.
8 How is this done?
Answer: When the heavenly Father gives us his Holy Spirit so that by his grace we may believe his holy Word and live a godly life, both here in time and hereafter forever.
In my daily devotions this week, there seems to be a common thread, the idea that we are afraid of intimacy with God, the idea that we are afraid of God.
Looking at the church today, we see this is truly an issue. We speak far more about God than we speak to Him. We train our pastors and ministers to teach theology, to pursue accurate doctrine (even on this feast of St Nicholas, to punch out those who don’t teach accurately) but do we help them to desire those moments, where we simply are in awe of God’s presence?
A friend of mine used to talk about how he hated the Sundays when the church had communion (some Lutheran churches have communion every other week, some even less,) because that meant church went 20 minutes longer, and he would miss 20 minutes of football. In later years this changed, and as a pastor, the churches he cared for moved to celebrate the Lord’s Supper every week. He had realized how precious this time was, in fellowship with God. It meant something special to, this time of breaking away from life, and concentrating not on the truth of God’s presence, but on God himself, there with us.
Prayer is no different, and we need to realize that so that we don’t treat it with indifference. It is the Kingdom of God coming to us, the Holy Spirit transforming us, comforting and calming us, helping us to trust in what is revealed about God’s love in scripture.
We shouldn’t fear it either, this coming of God to interact with us. Some fear the change that God will ask of them, either to give up this sin or that habit or to make some sacrifice (like becoming a missionary to some jungle or the inner city) s if somehow the more we hang out with God the more likely He will ask us to do something that only a saint could do.
I am not going to promise you won’t e “volunteered” for something, but that can happen if you aren’t praying. I can’t say that God won’t put on your heart a desire to break the habits of sin either, for surely He will. What I can promise is what He doesn’t, that in spending more time with God, our burdens are lifted, our anxieties fade away, and our souls find rest, even as God more clearly uses us to reconcile the world to Him.
In a world where peace seems so fragile, prayer, walking with God shows us that the real peace is internal, a gift of confidently living in Jesus.
Don’t be afraid, don’t be apathetic, rather, run to Him, leaving all your brokenness, find rest for your souls. And while you talking to Him, pray that I learn these lessons as well!
Escriva, Josemaria. The Forge (Kindle Locations 1186-1189). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
Tappert, Theodore G., ed. The Book of Concord the Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Philadelphia: Mühlenberg Press, 1959. Print.
Posted on December 6, 2017, in Augsburg and Trent, Devotions, Poiema, The Forge and tagged intimacy with God, intimate relationship with God, peace, prayer, presence of god, Serenity. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.