Reflections on Prayer

If someone were to ask you to describe the role of prayer in your life, how would you answer them today? I came across this quote from Oswald Chambers last week and it has been on my mind ever since:

We tend to use prayer as a last resort, but God wants it to be our first line of defense. We pray when there’s nothing else we can do, but God wants us to pray before we do anything at all. Most of us would prefer, however, to spend our time doing something that will get immediate results. We don’t want to wait for God to resolve matters in His good time because His idea of ‘good time’ is seldom in sync with ours.
— Oswald Chambers

How often do we use prayer like a “911” emergency call? There’s a fire in the kitchen, we’ve done everything we can to put it out, but the fire is still blazing – so we call the fire department. In terms of prayer, we do everything we can to fix (a broken relationship, an illness, a challenging situation, etc) and when we have come to the end of our rope – THEN we begin to pray asking for God’s help.

One of the excuses we use is that we are too busy to pray. I have got a book in my library by Bill Hybels called, Too Busy NOT To Pray. I love the irony behind this thought, and it has always convicted me to make time for prayer especially when life seems to be busy or overwhelming. Have you every been there? Are you there right now?

I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.
— Martin Luther

For me, prayer and meditation on God’s Word are crucial to living a life that brings glory to God. When I pray for my day, the people that I live with and will interact with at Simmons, and challenges that I may be facing, my heart is able to be aligned with the heart of God as I seek the help that only comes from Him.

I have found that when I pray for my wife and son, or pray for someone that I may be counseling with that day, God breaks my heart for them in a way that my actions towards them are filled with love, humility and grace. These are actions that I cannot muster up on my own will. Left up to myself, I am prideful and selfish – ain’t nobody got time for that! But through prayer, the Holy Spirit works in and through my life to continue transforming who I am now into who God has created me to be.

The same is true for you. I want to challenge you and encourage you to make prayer a priority in your life.

REFLECTION:

  • Set aside time each day to be in prayer.

  • Pray for God’s will in your relationships, your work, and in your personal life.

  • Don’t be surprised if you begin seeing the way you love, lead, and live begin to reflect Christ more and more.