Monday, October 19, 2015

Why is it so hard to pray?




As my  Sunday School class fills each Sunday morning, there is talk of football games, homecoming dates and dresses, coupons and sales, yard work and home improvement projects, sick children, grounded children, good / bad grades, new boyfriends/girlfriends, favorite teachers, track meets, science projects, baseball practice, aging parents, career changes, potty training, learner’s permits, and wives who take 3 years to get dressed. Sunday School "starts” at 9:15. Somewhere between 9:25 and 9:30, our teacher will get everyone’s attention and ask if we have any prayer requests.
Dead silence fills the room. Then, one by one, we mention our requests:
“Joes mom is having surgery.”
“We need to pray for our nation.”
“And our students”
“Yeah, we really need to pray for our students.”
“We need to pray for our church”
“And our staff”
“Anything else?”

Silence.

“Anyone want to lead us in prayer?”

Silence. (I think some people even stop breathing)

Some brave soul will end up praying for our church, our class, our youth, our staff, the nation, our students, and Joe’s mom’s upcoming surgery. There is a sigh of relief as we exit prayer time and get into the lesson.

Why are our prayer requests so limited and generic and... bland?

I wish that our prayer requests sounded something like this…
“Joes mom is having surgery.”
“My daughter is looking for a homecoming dress. Please pray that I am able to help her understand how precious she is to me and to God and that she can dress modestly and still be absolutely beautiful”
“We still haven’t been able to get little Johnny to poop in the potty. I have cried. I have begged. I have bribed him with candy and stickers and new big boy underwear. I don’t know what else to do. I feel like a failure.”
“Joey has been dating Suzy for about 6 months now. Y’all, there are girls their age having babies. It seems like “everyone” is having sex. I don’t want that for them. I don’t think that they are, or even that they would. They are both good kids. I just worry. Please pray that they will make good choices, that they continue to respect each other, and that they value their purity.”

The things that we talk about and ask for advice on are important to us. Why do we not pray about them while we are together?  Do we think that things like modesty, purity, career changes, potty training, and all sorts of parenting and marriage issues are unimportant to God? Do we feel like we are putting too much weight on these things if we ask to pray about them? Do we think that God can't/won't fix these things? Do we want His intervention in our daily lives?

 God’s Word says:
Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6 (HCSB)
Why do you think it is so easy for us to talk about things but hard to pray about them?
 (I really want to know. Leave me a comment…)

Let’s pray

Father God,
Help me to remember that you are concerned with all things in my life and that I can bring everything to you in prayer. Let me not be hesitant to ask my church family and Christian friends to pray for the things that give me anxiety or cause me to worry. Help me to remember that nothing is to large or too small for me to bring to you in prayer.
Amen

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