Prayer is an essential spiritual discipline. It is the key to growing our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Through prayer, God changes us.
Richard Foster says, through real prayer, “We begin to think God’s thoughts after Him; to desire the things He desires, to love the things He loves, to will the things He wills.”
Through prayer, we begin to see life from His point of view. We align our hearts with God’s. While prayer is crucial and beneficial, it often gets set aside. But why? When I really took time to assess my prayer life earlier this semester, I found three things that often restrain me from engaging with the Father, and I know that I am not the only one who comes up with these excuses.
My most common reason for avoiding prayer is, “I do not have time” or “I simply do not feel like it.” Here’s the thing, though: Prayer does not have to be an hour-long conversation with God in a dark, private room. It certainly can be, and sometimes I think it should be, but it can also be a two-minute conversation with Him while driving down the highway.
“Pray without ceasing”
1 Thessalonians 5:17
Prayer should not be something I must block time out of my day for; it’s not some item on a checklist; it’s a lifestyle. I should be in constant prayer with my Father all day. Is it okay to set aside time specifically for prayer? Absolutely! Lack of set aside time, though, should not be the excuse keeping me from conversing with the Father.
When it comes to “not feeling like prayer,” I must ask myself: when did prayer become about me and my comfort? After all, God sent His son to be crucified so that I could converse with Him. Jesus gave His everything to be in a relationship with me. Therefore, He deserves the simple sacrifice of my comfort. That’s the least that I can do for Him. Also, I am approaching the throne of the Heavenly Father not for my benefit but to become more like Him for His glory. So, it’s not about me and my comfort; it’s about Him.
If time should not be an issue, and neither should my feelings, what else keeps me from being in conversation with the Lord? Sometimes, I go through seasons where I convince myself that God does not answer my prayers. There have been times throughout my life when I have not gotten my way and thought, “Well, God must just not hear me,” or “He’s just not answering my prayers.” After these thoughts, I would often find myself straying away from the practice of prayer because I did not see the point. Looking back, though, I have realized that God did, in fact, hear and answer every single one of my prayers. Sometimes, He just answered them in a way that either I was not expecting or in a way I did not want.
Here’s the truth: God always answers prayers. However, His will often differs from what we think our hearts desire. But His way is always best.
This is something that held me back for quite some time. Why would someone like me, a sinner, be allowed to bring my concerns before a holy and perfect God? I am not worthy of that. And while this is true, that’s why Jesus came. Not to judge me but to save me.
“God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.”
God knew we would never be able to live without sin. On our own, we are not worthy of God. But because of Jesus, we can freely go to the Father with all things, anytime. No longer does our sin separate us from Him. God knows our mistakes and failures, so there is no reason to hide from Him. He loves us and wants to help us. Seek Him.
There are so many things that hinder us from seeking the Father, and I’ve only listed a few of them. However, prayer is our direct line of communication with God, and it is the key to living in His will. So whatever is holding you back today, take that to the Father. Defeat the enemy and spend time in prayer today. And when you do, take time to slow down and listen. For this is where real transformation happens.
See ya next time beautiful people,