At Wewoka Woods this summer, staff would perform a different prayer skit every night during campfire, teaching the campers how or how not to pray. As I reflect on the skits I watched time and time again, I realize how important prayer is in my life and the lives of all believers and how far away my prayer life is from where it needs to be.In the skits of “how not to pray” prayers were short giving God no time to talk, selfish asking for things they didn’t need and treating God like Santa Clause, impersonal failing to address heart to heart subjects with God and simply going through the motions, or given at night when no attention was really being given to God because of sleepiness. As I think about these skits, I realize that I have done all these things far too often. How often do I wait to pray til I desperately need God and only choose to use Him as a Santa Clause or wish giver? How often do I run around throughout my day ignoring Christ until bedtime when I mumble a few holy words then shut Christ up and go to sleep?
In the final prayer skit on Friday night, prayer was personal and conversational. God had a relationship with the girl and she would listen to God give her advice about every part of her day: from the guy she liked to her mom nagging at her sister. Christ wants to talk to me like that. He wants to talk to you like that. If we only realized, how much prayer could transform our lives and make us totally different people. Christ wants to live in us. More importantly He wants us to get to know Him.
Ephesians 4:22-24 “Put off your old self which is being corrupted of its evil desires, to be made new in the attitudes of your minds, and live and put on the new self; created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
Jones writes that less than ten percent of all Christians spend time with God other than during church services. This is tragic because it shows that less than ten percent of all self-proclaimed Christians actually know who God is. Hearing about Him from others will never be the same, we have to know Him for ourself.
We have power beyond what we imagine when we live in Christ and when we pray. We must learn to pray continuously. I want to live and breathe Jesus Christ, his plans, and His thoughts all throughout my day.I know that is the only way, I will be able to survive in Peru next year as a student missionary
So if praying changes our lives and gives us power why do we hate is so much?? I don’t know about you but honestly I just don’t feel like praying a lot of the time. Mike Jones writes that “the reason you and I often don’t feel like praying is because it’s in our DNA not to feel like praying. Human nature seeths with the things of God like Bible study and prayer.”
Long distance is hard- it can be said that being far apart for a time either makes or breaks the relationship. Yet imagine a long distance relationship with no communication- that’s no relationship. No relationship at all because if you can’t see a person’s face and look into their eyes, you need to be able to talk to them, and if you can’t talk to them and learn about them you really don’t know them. If we hate praying right now it’s ok. If we think it’s boring that’s fine. But we have to change that if we want to know Christ. Because without prayer, we will never have a close relationship with Him.
In Matthew it talks about judgment times and when Jesus will separate the sheep from the goats. He writes that many people will say “But what about I Jesus?” And Jesus will respond “I never knew you.” Sure, we hear about God. We go to tons of church services, sing tons of songs, and even listen to a bunch of prayers with pastors or other people. But if you want to get serious about someone you have to invest time in them and them alone. You have to spend alone time talking to them.
How do we learn to pray? First we die to our selfish desires and realize that prayer will be difficult because Satan is doing everything in his power to keep us from praying. Second, we become intentional and focused, setting ourselves up for success making sure that we follow through with our communication with Christ.
If we truly want Jesus we have to die. We have to choose God before what we want to do and what interests us, our hobbies, our passions, our relationships, and our time. We must decide that we will die to anything that separates us from Christ It’s going to be hard but it takes a conscience choice to surrender our own will day after day and just do it: fall on your knees and pray. It will get easier if you start doing it, but if you don’t start now, your relationship with God is not going to simply fall in place. If you want to know God, stop right now and tell him that.