Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Prayer as a Discipline

Our prayer lives tell us what kind of people we are. As a disclaimer, I know that nearly every Christian thinks that they should pray more, but we rarely sift our hearts to find out why. We really should discipline ourselves to find out what the problem is so that we may find the cure. Most likely, the sins that keep us from prayer keep us from intimacy with God and others in many different ways.

First, we should admit that we simply do not take the time to pray. Many do not set aside even five mintues a day to purposefully pray. By that, I mean that this amount of time is blocked off only to pray. It doesn't have to be the same time every day, but we ought to have a scheduled time to pray to God. This is not legalism. This is Christianity. We have a duty to pray. We have a mandate to call upon the Lord. We do not pray to ingratiate ourselves to God; we pray because God is gracious to us.

Our inability to set aside a time to pray to God demonstrates that we are lazy at best or that Christianity isn't really that important to us at worst. It certainly means that we do not believe that God answers our prayers. It is evident that if we believed this, we would spend far more time in intercession than we do.

There is almost no human being on earth who cannot block off thirty mintues a day to pray. Perhaps you think that you do not have enough to keep you busy with God for that amount of time. This also demonstrates that we are lazy and that we do not take Christianity very seriously. You could easily spend thirty minutes interceding for your friends at church, by name and request, for thirty minutes a day. If you branch out to pray for missionaries your church supports, you will certainly find enough to keep you busy for thirty minutes. If you plead with God for people you know to be enlightened by the gospel who are now in darkness, you will soon find that thirty minutes is far too short a time to spend in prayer.

If you are not blocking off time to do this great work, you are being a lazy, unfaithful Christian. You are like a guard who falls asleep on duty. You are like an air traffic controller watching movies instead of guiding planes. Get a notebook. Fill it up with requests. Set a time. Fight for your friends through prayer, and dare God to answer. See what He will do if you provoke Him through intercession.

I write this, knowing that my words will be measured against me. May God help me be faithful to pray.

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