Luke 18:1 Jesus taught quite a bit on prayer and this scripture tells us "men ought always to pray and not faint". Does that make you feel good or guilty?
Let’s do some brainstorming about prayer! I’d like to pose some questions and I’d love to hear from some of you with regard to how you would answer such questions personally. I will share with you my own personal thoughts.
First question, how important is prayer anyway? Well, most people would say pretty important. I say it is life and death to the experience of a believer.
Second question, why then does it seem sometimes to be the most natural thing in the world to do and at other times, the most unnatural and the thing we seem least inclined to do?
Third question, why is it that most people can only give you a few times in their lives when they felt that they really got a clear answer to their prayers?
Fourth question, and this is one that I heard over and over again as a Christian therapist, if there is a good God who answers prayer, why are there still starving children in Africa?
Fifth question, is it possible that what we have is a major misunderstanding about what prayer is and what it is not? Or, could it be that we have not been educated or trained in the life-changing art of prayer?
These questions were triggered within me after reading the following quote from Andrew Murray’s With Christ in the School of Prayer:
“Though in its beginnings prayer is so simple that the feeblest child can pray, yet it is at the same time the highest and holiest work to which man can rise. It is fellowship with the Unseen and Most Holy One. The powers of the eternal world have been placed at its disposal. It is the very essence of true religion, the channel of all blessings, the secret of power and life…It is on prayer that the promises wait for their fulfillment, the kingdom for its coming, the glory of God for its full revelation… (For) true prayer, that takes hold of God’s strength, that availeth much, to which the gates of heaven are really opened wide—who would not cry, Oh for someone to teach me thus to pray? pps.8,9.
Last question, does your prayer life fit in the description of Andrew Murray above? If not, please do not feel condemned. You are not alone! In my experience, there are more of us who would say, I wish!!! But, for many of us, we would say he had something that we do not.
For today, let me say that I do not believe that has to be the response of the majority of us to his experience of prayer. I believe that we have been under educated in the whole concept of prayer and we have not matured in what we have been taught.
So, let’s address the first question in the next blog. How important is prayer anyway? I’d love to hear from some of you. If you have a difficult time posting to the blog, email your responses to me at firstname.lastname@example.org .