Prayer is desirable if you are a Christ follower. You read about it in famous biographies. You hear it mentioned in conversations and you hear it preached on Sundays. No one I know would claim to be excelling at it and almost everyone I know would blush at their prayer ‘ratings’ (no such thing exists or should exist).
We all struggle to pray. The barriers may be different but the reality is similar. Some of us are lacking faith, others motivation and more often than not a basic sense of priorities and discipline. And no matter how many books you read and how many experts you listen to, it remains a struggle.
As I keep learning, one thing seems to become more and more obvious. In times of hardship and challenge, my prayer life awakens. I guess it becomes instinctive. I am cornered and I have run out of ‘other options’… I have come to an end of all my resources, people cannot help and ordinary means just won’t do. And that’s when I am most active in prayer.
Jesus was so different. He listened and prayed as he went on about His daily business. He also withdrew from the noise and the hype. When things got tough, he was sweating drops of blood agonising in preparation in prayer for the coming ordeal of interrogation, torture and crucifixion. Even on the Cross, He prayed. Always. Constant. Praying.
How rude, I think, to treat this privilege so glibly. How insensitive to be so ignorant of the One who invited me to call Him Father. How selfish in my pragmatism. I confess, that at times I feel like a ‘user’ in my prayer life.
Yet the mind blowing truth is that He always welcomes me back. No lecture. No extra homework. No pre-conditions. Just ready to listen to my heart’ pleas. Like a deeply caring Heavenly Dad. And that isn’t because of me or because He is naive. It’s all because of His Son who made this relationship possible.
So, as we spend time pondering the events of Holy Week, return or turn to prayer. It will change your life and others’. Also, please join me in praying for my friend H, in her mid-twenties, with a severe brain haemorrhage in a critical condition, in hospital.