Thursday, July 06, 2006

Diagnosing a sick prayer life

I read a great article by Tony Payne in this months 'The Briefing'. It was an amazing article and made me think about my sick prayer life and about the God in whom we trust.

I find it so easy to be 'too busy' to pray yet God takes great joy in hearing his children come to him in prayer. I think about my close friends, what happens if I don't talk to them for a few weeks, how would they feel, how would I feel if my friends didn't get in touch with me? I would be sad for sure! I think God must get sad when we don't talk to him too.
I often find myself with something else to do (more important), or I'm too tired OR there isn't enough time in the week. So what do I do?? Do I say - more time with God? or more time in front of the TV?

I know it is the sin living in me why I fail to pray, the article says "our sinfulness is a chronic disease that will never be cured this side of glory" BUT "because of the death and resurrection of Christ, the outcome is not terminal". Praise the Lord, despite our sinfulness and our putting God to one side, because of what he has done for us all is not lost, in fact all is gained by Christ's death and resurrection, through him we will one day receive glory and get to spend eternity with him in heaven.
Until then I am still faced with my failing prayer life... Prayer isn't just asking God for things or an opportunity to come to him when things are not going well. As I said before God wants us to come to him. So why don't we. Now I am not saying 'I never pray' but I certainly don't spend as much time in prayer as I should OR rather could. When I know what scriptures says about prayer and praying to God:

"What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the LORD our God is near us whenever we pray to him?" Deuteronomy 4:7

"But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" Matthew 5:44

"This, then, is how you should pray: " 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.' Matthew 6:9-13

"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will". Romans 8:26-27

"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus". 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective". James 5:16

There are so many great verses on prayer and just looking them up now I see so many wonderful things about our God.

- He is near us when we pray.
- We ought to love AND pray for our enemies.
- He teaches us how to pray.
- He sends us the Spirit who intercedes for us.
- He wants us to pray continually.
- Praying to him is powerful and effectual.

I know there are many more passages on prayer, these are but a few.

Knowing all this about our God I have to ask myself why don't I pray more?? Is it because I don't believe God's Sovereignty? Do I underestimate my sin? Is it because I don't 'feel' like praying? or Don't I believe he can do the things I ask?

These are things swimming in my mind. One of the things that Tony Payne says in this article which I take great comfort from is this, "Faith is not a mysterious religious feeling or quality; it is trust, reliance and dependence on God. And the important thing about trust is not how strong the trust is or what it feels like, but whether the thing you're trusting in is trustworthy".

Our God is trustworthy, I long to run to him in prayer, not just when I am in need but every hour of every day. Remembering what God has done for us and thinking on his many amazing characteristics can lead us to do nothing but prayer, to give him thanks for all he has DONE for us.

Please pray that I might be a faithful women of God. There is so much to say on prayer, maybe I will write more another time.

What are you thankful for right now? What characteristic of God has so amazed you in the last week?


Blogger Giraffe Pen (기린 만년필) said...

Wow- those blue letters are really hard to read...

I'm amazed at how wonderful God is. He's consistent, faithful, forgiving, and generous. Humans can be like that but God is the ultimate :) It doesn't get better than Him.

Thu Jul 06, 07:58:00 PM  
Blogger Ruth said...

Good post Nixter. I will pray that you are a faithful woman of prayer. You certainly have the gift of encouragement.

Thu Jul 06, 09:16:00 PM  
Blogger Giraffe Pen (기린 만년필) said...

:) Ja, I thoroughly agree with Ruth (thanks for changing the font too). You'd be quite effective in ministry/MTS.

Fri Jul 07, 07:44:00 AM  
Blogger Hannah said...

Thank you for that post Nicki. I'm going to print it out and mull over it all day. I want to memorise those versus too. Great analogies with 'how would I feel if my children never call me?' - well, I have to work on being a earthly child as well has a heavenly one (if you know what I mean?).
You're quite effective just as you are! Thanks again! Great thoughts...

Fri Jul 07, 08:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Nikki said...

Hi Nix, I'm glad God gives us brothers and sisters to remind us of God's beauty -thankful for you and my Bible Study group this week.

Also, thankful that it's the object of our trust and not the quality of our trust that is important to God- I think that is AMaZiNgly generous of God!

Fri Jul 07, 09:44:00 AM  
Blogger CraigS said...

Great post nixter!

Fri Jul 07, 10:16:00 AM  
Blogger Nixter said...

I love sitting down and writing about the things God is teaching me, if only I had more time to write more. He is so very good ;)

Fri Jul 07, 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger Nixter said...

it is amazing that it is the object of our trust and not the quality. Phew!

Fri Jul 07, 04:46:00 PM  

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