Many of us have a hard time maintaining a vibrant prayer life.
Even when we manage to set aside time to pray, we can still feel like we’re not doing it right:
- Our minds drift, distracted by worries and a never-ending To-Do list.
- Our time with God doesn’t always feel relational.
- We get the sense we’re doing a lot of talking, but not much listening.
- We might even feel a vague sense of unworthiness, knowing there are areas of our lives where we’re coming up short and imagining God will want us to focus on those very areas.
“We do not know how to pray as we should” (Romans 8:26).
I know some things my pet does not.
My dog thinks he wants to fight that pesky cat next door. By his barking and straining at the leash, Albie gives every indication that chasing that cat would be the high point of his day. It wouldn’t. It would be his greatest nightmare.
That little cat sits on the driveway, completely unmoving when my dog walks within 10 feet, barking and snarling and threatening. The cat hardly blinks an eye. Another day at the office. Another house dog who thinks he wants a piece of me but has no idea the trouble he’s asking for.
The salvation of our children is priceless; their spiritual needs far outweigh their physical needs. They need our prayers—our earnest prayers with hearts aflame, both for their initial repentance and coming to Christ by faith, and for their life of ongoing growth in faith. Matthew Henry rightly declared that it is of far more value for parents who die to leave behind a treasury of prayers for their children than it is to leave behind a treasury of silver and gold.
“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” -Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)
It’s a sweeping claim, but it might just be the kind of overstatement we need today to be awakened from our relentless stream of distractions and diversions. How hauntingly true might it be, that we are unable to sit quietly? Four hundred years after Pascal, life may be as hurried and anxious as it has ever been. The competition for our attention is ruthless. We not only hear one distracting Siren call after another, but an endless cacophony of voices barrages us all at once.
And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?