Monday, October 26, 2009

Lazy About Prayer

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. James 5:16

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. I Thessalonians 5:16-17

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

I will honestly confess: I am a lazy pray-er. God forgive! And, God change me! Oh, this has been on my mind, heart, and in my prayers for months...prayer...that God would make me, make our family, a praying family...that His Spirit would do a mighty work of transformation in us so that we become people of prayer, willing to sacrifice our time and thoughts to this precious, powerful privilege Christ won for us when He died and that veil was torn!

Last week, at God's direction, I decided to pray more earnestly and diligently each of those days for some specific concerns and requests. Among those concerns: five individuals who need Christ. I realized I was assuming these precious people would turn to Christ soon, given the fact that each of them is exposed to good Biblical teaching, but oh, my...God reminded me I need to be calling on His Name on behalf of each of these! The enemy wants me to be lazy, wants me to make assumptions, does not want me to utilize the gift and responsibility of prayer!!

So last week I prayed, focusing extra time and thought on asking Christ to be at work in their hearts, that the Holy Spirit would turn their hearts toward Himself. I asked for true belief and true repentance, every grace that brings [them] nigh (from Come Ye Sinners, hymn by Joseph Hart, 1759), prayed He'd help them understand salvation for themselves - not just as information, but as the need of their own hearts.

Sometimes when I spend more focused time in prayer like that, I must simply trust God heard and will act according to His will, and then other times He lets me see Himself at work! At the end of that week, three of the five people had approached a believer, asking specific, pointed questions about the gospel and salvation through faith in Christ!! And in each case, the listener was able to clarify different points of the gospel and ask pointed questions in return. Praise God!!

Oh, let me pray on! God, help my weakness,  forgive my laziness, and defend me from that enemy who comes against me, deceiving and discouraging me away from precious prayer, from powerful talking time with the Savior, who listens and acts.

They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.  Acts 2:42

Photos - my only fall/Thanksgiving decorations: two gorgeous pumpkins from the grocery store...isn't that cream color dreamy? Last photo: MK, peeking over the creamy pumpkin, which, by the way, we chose partly because of the delicious curly vine tendril on top.

1 comment:

  1. Me too Beth. Me too. I forget to pray earnestly for all of you as well.