Prayer has always been the centerpiece of any relationship with God. Jesus, and his forerunner John, were so given to prayer that Jesus’ disciples asked him to teach them how to pray (Luke 11:1). There was a time when prayer was deeply ingrained in the American mindset but that is just a distant memory. There was a time when mid-week assemblies were called prayer meetings. Of course, we still pray but there is a noticeable lack of dependence on prayer.
You Aren’t Praying Because You Don’t Think You Need To
You are self sufficient. You take care of yourself. You are strong. You don’t anyone to help; you’ll be just fine. This is the way we are taught to think. It’s driven by the idea that man is superior to all else.
Presently, many hold that science is the only answer to our many problems. The Humanist Manifesto III, adopted in 2003, says it this way: “Humanists find that science is the best method for determining this knowledge as well as for solving problems and developing beneficial technologies.”
As a former RN, CCRN who worked for years in a Critical Care setting, I know the value of science. I know that new medications and treatments have improved the quality of our lives and the quantity of our days. I also know there is a limit to science. Today, science remains uncertain of the future. Science has been humbled by a tiny, previously unknown virus.
A generation learned that dependence on tangible things is foolish. The Great Depression begin in 1929 and lasted 10 years. Those who lived through that period are still guided by their experiences. In 2008, many lost their savings and saw their retirement plans implode in days. Now, we struggle through another economic disaster on the back of the coronavirus pandemic.
How is it possible that we think we do not need prayer?
You Don’t Pray Because You Are Not Sure Prayer Works.
It probably sounds crazy for a Christian to deny the power of prayer. But many do. They aren’t trying to be evil or weak, but they just haven’t seen the power of prayer in action. Actually, they have but they don’t recognize it.
Have you ever prayed for someone suffering? Maybe the church has a prayer list and you bow your head each week as someone prays for those in the hospital. When they recover to whom do you give the glory? I’ve heard people say something like, “She really had a good doctor!” Or, “that’s really a great hospital, I’m glad she went there.” It would be great to hear someone exclaim, “What a great God she has!” Even if God is working through those wonderful doctors it is still the Lord who deserves the credit. We ought to give glory where it is due.
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. 18 Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.” James 3:16-18
Look at this verse. First, prayer has power! James does not wavier. Prayer works. That alone should put to rest our suspicion that prayer is only wishful thinking. But next, he uses Elijah’s prayer for drought and then for rain as an illustration of the power of prayer (! Kings 17:1ff; 18:1ff). Elijah, like me, prayed and the Lord withheld the rain. Later, the Lord released the waters.
Tell me, how is it we don’t believe in the power of prayer.
I’m challenging you to pray like you have never prayed before. And, I am asking you to record your prayers in a notebook or journal. In one month, revisit your listing and see what God has done. You will be amazed!
One reminder: God may not answer your prayers in the way you want. God will, and we want him to, answer prayers by giving us what we need. We want God to give us what is best. One of the benefits of the prayer journal is that you will see how God responds to your wants and perceived needs.
Release your fears to God. Surrender to him and and ask for God to give you what is best. I promise that your faith will grow and you will never again wonder if prayer works.
Let me know how you come along on your prayer life. I’d love to know!