What I mean is, do you ever feel ill equipped to accomplish that which is set before you due to the many obstacles and distractions that tempt you, push and shove you away from your goals and purposes?
I have felt like this recently. And what I have discovered about myself is that my prayer life is shallow. Not in a trivial sense, but simply in terms of depth.
How do I expect to carry out the tasks set before me when I am spending so little time in prayer? Why am I so reluctant to stop and ask the Creator and King of the Universe for guidance, wisdom and help? Why do I wake up, say a quick prayer for safety and care for my friends, loved ones, missionaries, and colleagues, and then charge the gates of hell with my plastic water pistol when what I need is the force of Niagara Falls?
On page 64 of “Breaking Free” Beth says this about prayerlessness:
“What victory the enemy has in winning us over to prayerlessness! He would rather we do anything than pray. He’d rather see us serve ourselves into the ground, because he knows we’ll eventually grow resentful without prayer. He’d rather see us study the Bible into the wee hours of the morning, because he knows we’ll never have deep understanding and power to live what we’ve learned without prayer. He knows prayerlessness lives are powerless lives, while prayerful lives are powerful lives!”
This is good truth. So why, then, do I cower from prayer when I need it most? It’s probably my own pride and tendency toward a “performance=acceptance” attitude about my relationship with God. Which is so absurd because “performance=acceptance” is completely contrary to what the Bible says about mercy, grace, and faith. The truth is, I will never earn righteousness in the site of God, so what good does it do me to wait until I “feel good” about praying to intercede?
C.S. Lewis is another one of my “faith heroes.” If he were here today, I bet this is what he would say to me about prayer:
“What seem our worst prayers may really be, in God’s eyes, our best. Those, I mean, which are least supported by devotional feeling. For these may come from a deeper level than feeling. God sometimes seems to speak to us most intimately when He catches us, as it were, off our guard.”
May our merciful Lord find me today, “off my guard,” and hear my prayers for grace, wisdom and discernment. And may I stop believing the enemy’s lies of “performance=acceptance” and arm myself in prayer with the holy ammunition of God’s word:
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.