God has been been trying and trying and trying and trying to get me to listen to him lately regarding my prayer life. To be perfectly transparent, I struggle with prayer. The Bible is so perfectly clear on the subject that I can’t really argue from an intellectual standpoint. We are to do it. End of story. Paul told Timothy – I urge, then, FIRST OF ALL, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone. How can I argue that?
But the reality is, when I look back on my life – and the hundreds of prayers I’ve prayed – I struggle to see the big reveal moments where I prayed and the miraculous happened. I selfishly want that miraculous and undeniable act of God as a result of my prayers. THEN I could believe. THEN I would fire up about prayer because I would know for sure my prayers weren’t in vain. This ugly secret in my heart has kept me from having the vibrant and effective prayer life I’m called to. Simply put, I’m being disobedient. My personal prayers are sporadic and not uttered from lips which deeply believe my words will be a vehicle of God’s purposes.
My exec director has been asking us to each be praying diligently and faithfully about a few key things regarding our ministry. She prays EVERY DAY as diligently as the sun seems to rise. As we study Experiencing God as a staff, Henry Blackaby continually reiterates the power of how God works and speaks to us through prayer. I think God is telling me – “Cheryl – It’s time to step it up. I have some things I want to do through you that can only be accomplished through prayer. It’s time child – time to learn to pray.”
I need to say here – I believe that our faith journey is just that – a journey. While I have always been called to pray, I have never felt the weight of my calling to prayer as deeply as I have recently. God seems to be raising the bar in my life at this time. He does that you know… he will teach me something today, and when I begin to obey, he will reveal the next layer of sin and disobedience. Something perhaps more subtle, that I never recognized as disobedience before. I mean – I pray at mealtime, in church, before bed – God do you mean I’m called to MORE than that?! Yes child. It’s a lifelong sanctification process.
When I feel a specific calling to grow spiritually in a certain area of my life, my disobedience – which I may have been oblivious to in the past – begins to weigh heavier and heavier. I feel the weight of my rebellion. It’s no longer me saying “I’d rather watch TV tonight”… it’s me saying “God – I don’t want to pray to you. I’m choosing the TV over you.” It’s like I feel my body utter the ugly words as I pick up the remote. Ick.
So, in addition to the prayers I’ve been asked to pray as a result of my career and ministry, God has placed several much more personal prayer needs on my heart recently as well. It’s almost as if He’s telling me that he has chosen my prayers as his means of working in these moments, and I need to get down to business. So - I am committing to pray deeply about these topics for at least 6 weeks. Every day. I am asking God to not only make this a time of intercession on behalf of The WorkFaith Connection and my other prayer subjects, but to make this a time of teaching for me. A time where he teaches me the value, importance, effectiveness, and power of prayer. In my ugly rebellious moods, I will commit to pray (whether I FEEL like it or not) until the cords of sin are broken and I can rest in the joy of obedience. I can’t wait for the day I DESIRE to find my quiet corner and cry out to God in stillness, knowing in the deepest and most convinced part of my heart that my prayers are strong and mighty weapons – leaving my lips and being used by God to effect mighty change! God may that day come quickly!
I crave a life changing experience – one that stirs up in me a new found NEED and DESIRE for prayer. One I can carry into my forever. Please Lord, make today the first day of a permanent change in me. I know you can do so much more through me if I will be a willing servant dedicated to deep prayer.