You know we should grow in our prayer life. You believe prayer works. But for some reason you and I just can’t seem to gain traction in our prayer life. Why?
I’m a pastor. I am paid to be good at prayer, right?
I’ll be honest, I am pretty good at praying in public. At the end of a worship set, or while holding the hand of a person in the hospital bed. I can pray with the best of them.
I am sure this has some pastoral values, but the kind of prayer life you and I desire is not public and polished; it is honest and personal conversation with our father.
We long to intimately communicate with the Devine. We want to take God up on the promise that we can cast our cares upon him. So why are we no good at it?
There is one reason you and I can be awful at prayer.
You don’t need God.
We think our prayer life is horrible because we aren’t disciplined or spiritual enough. False.
Your prayer life is awful because you can navigate your life and fulfill most, if not all, your own needs. Most likely the only money problems you have are ones you created for yourself.
If you have money problems, you can just get another credit card or get another loan. If you need to know something, you google it. If you are sick, you go to the doctor. And if you still have a problem, you can ask someone in your community of friends to help.
The bottom line is in your everyday life, you are capable of fulfilling most of your needs. You don’t need God. So your prayer life suffers.
The scripture tells us that “Apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) But the experience of our life shows us that if we don’t do something, nothing gets done.
So how do we navigate this contradiction?
Develop an attitude of surrender.
The truth is, while our bodies and minds are capable of work and solving our problems, we were not created to carry the anxiety and pressures we face. We were designed to live in the divine fellowship and to cast all our cares on him.
So while the temptation is to trust in ourselves, we must develop an attitude of surrender and realize God is waiting to take our burdens and fears. We are ill-equipped to handle such massive anxiety and fear, but when we come to Christ and realize our helplessness, he takes our burdens.
Imagine not carrying around years of anxiety and fears and constantly being in conversation with the God of the universe. When you realize how helpless you are and how strong the power source of Christ is, I promise your prayer life will explode.