I’ve always been fascinated by people who seem to have a hotline to God. What I mean is, they pray and things happen. For a long time, I believed they had some “special” relationship with God. I used to think that they were somehow more powerful in things spiritual with heighted discerning abilities as well. I’d observe how some would scream their prayers; others would convulse while speaking tongues or just weep. While all of this can be a bit entertaining, as I matured I realized this doesn’t mean God is at their beck and call. The reality is, there is no sure fire formula that provokes answers we may want immediately from God. We all want God to do things for us and hear our cries right? We all need something! Our society is filled with the gimmie, gimmie, gimmie syndrome that is drowning out the Holy Spirit. God isn’t a sugar daddy, and we need to review how we perceive our relationship with Him so that we truly understand our role in the body of Christ. People generally feel more confident in their spiritual life when prayers are answered in the manner they’d like. In feeling comfort from this, we must remember that prayer is not a medium Christians can use to manipulate God nor is it something that merely occupies our time so we don’t sin. It’s not some mystical, complicated event and it certainly doesn’t give us any greater standing with Him. Whether a person prays or opts out, He still loves us all the same. So my thought or question becomes, “Why pray at all?”
We know prayer is a conversation we carry on with Jesus and signifies we have a tangible relationship with Him. One amazing aspect of a strong prayer life is that it will expose the worst of us to God. Prayer is our point of submission and allows God to look into our heart because He can see what’s really in our spirit. Prayer is a portal that permits Him to not only see but confront us about the spiritual imperfections within us. It’s easy to hide our feelings behind painted on smiles, but only God knows our heart (Jeremiah 17:8-9). This is a clear reminder that we can’t trust our own decisions or our feelings. The reason being is that we’re imperfect, fallible humans who continually mess the stuff in our lives up! We must ask God to show us what we should do, when to take action and the best method to implement it. For if we had the ability to correct everything ourselves, why would we need prayer or a Savior for that matter. We need the unction of the Holy Spirit to deal with our hearts. He convicts us of our misdeeds yet reminds us of God’s unyielding love. The bible states the heart of mankind is vile but God has sent Christ to cleanse us so that we don’t live in condemnation. Oh how I thank God for His saving grace!
The bible encourages us to always pray. Even when it seems our prayers are not being answered or we think God is no longer listening. Remaining diligent in a season such as this is where the rubber meets the road. Our connection to God should never wane just because we’re having a “human” moment. In our walk with the Father, we can’t be fair weather friends. Of course we’ll have those human moments when we let doubt slip in or cease praying altogether by trying to settle matters ourselves. If this hasn’t happened to you yet, hold on to your hat. The more mature believer has learned to seek God every second of the day because it takes less than a second to entertain an evil thought or accomplish some carnal deed. Our human intellect will point us to such behavior when our mind becomes idle. These strategies that may seem so clever at inception but usually create more chaos once implemented. Actions we take apart from God’s direction will surely fail. Prayer however, assists us in remaining focused on Godly endeavors; while at the same time exposing our vulnerabilities to the Lord. Prayer keeps us transparent before Him.
Transparency seems to be difficult for many these days. I often hear people confess they would loved to be “used” of the Lord but this means full disclosure. We have to be turned inside out so that our heart is just as beautiful as the smiles we brandish. WE have to become willing to show God the ugly things in our heart that the Sunday school teacher never sees! We have to tell God in prayer we need, want and are desperate for the deliverance it takes to be used “mightily”. Praying to impress others will not make this happen. This is where many fall short because whether we realize it or not; most people want mediocrity. They enjoy routine experiences because they believe it gives them more control over their affairs. In order to achieve that there is nothing more to do, just keep breathing. Those are the people who live life walking on the outskirts of their relationship with Christ yet expect miracles. For those who do this; keep paying that tithe, showing up every Sunday for the sermon and forgetting the scripture text in an hour. Through prayer God transitions us from our comfort zones to give us a blow by blow illustration of where we need improvement. If we desire spiritual fullness, we have to be made uncomfortable through circumstances. It is life experiences that will step on our proverbial toes and drive us to prayer. Divorce, death, illness, financial challenges and other trauma will compel us to pray.
God teaches us to pray out of a heart of PURE love when we allow Him to transform us. Anyone can pray, but how often do we seek God to change us? How many of us tell God we want to pray prayers with the pure love of Christ without pretenses or hidden agendas? Only real deliverance can give us that! Praying diligently and having faith are powerful mediums but its love that motivates God to action. He looks for genuine prayers from hearts that have learned how to love. If we want to have a powerful prayer life LOVE is the threshold we must cross. It’s not in spewing loud wordy clichés with directives at God. It’s in the prayer of one that has allowed God to expose every area of their spirit to inculcate their heart with a contagious love for His creation. The way the church today and believers who operate in spiritual gifting can touch God’s heart is to love everyone with His heart.
Do we even need to pray? Why do we deliverance? Why do we want God to expose all of our secrets? It’s because we were designed to be in covenant with Him and one another. We can’t love God with our entire heart without loving His creation. Nothing happens in Christ unless it’s motivated by love. That is our example! Every action we take should be love centered which is Christ centered. We are fulfilled when we embrace the concerns God has for man and share His unconditional love with the world. Beloved, it’s not about you at all. It’s about the unconditional, never failing love that compelled Him to send His only son to die for the creation He so desperately loved. This is the reason we should bother ourselves with prayer…