With the four conditions of prayer met, and the three stages of prayer firmly set in our minds, plus the fact we know prayer works, why don't we pray more?
Maybe the better question is: "Why do we worry so much?"
"Be anxious (worried) about nothing, but in all things by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God." (Philippians 4:6.) Someone has said, "If you are going to pray, don't worry; if you're going to worry, don't pray." They are mutually exclusive.
There are four possible reasons why we prefer to take things into our own hands instead of bringing them to God in prayer. One, lack of awareness of the shortness of time. The Scriptures tell us that the return of Jesus could happen at any time. The world as we know it will cease to exist, and every minute that passes brings this closer.
We have only a certain amount of time in which to accomplish what the Lord has determined for us to do, and prayer is the foundation for all that is to be accomplished for the Kingdom of God here on earth. If we knew when this event was going to take place, would we pray more or less?
Two, because we are lazy. It is a plain, simple fact. Prayer is hard work, real work, in which we approach the throne of Almighty God to find out what his will is. This required dedication to a life that is beyond reproach, our prayer life is an extension of our daily lives.
Pleading the cases of those who are near and dear to us is much easier than praying for those whom we do not know, or harder yet -- for those we know but do not like (or do not like us). To live a life that is characterized by a constant attitude of prayer takes all the strength, wisdom, perseverance and reliance on God that we can muster, and then some. It must be done in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Three, we do not see the value of prayer. We look around us and see all the technology and modern conveniences. We have confidence in the sciences of man and we ask, "Does prayer really accomplish anything? Is there anything that we can really do to influence God, or change his mind? Isn't everything ordained, or chance, or something else beyond our control? Why should I pray if it doesn't do any good?"
This is somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we do not believe prayer makes a difference, it will not make a difference because we will not pray. If no one else is going to pray, then why should I? We need to see the value of prayer again.
Last, we see no profit in prayer. Too many times we look for the personal benefit in prayer; this is the wrong motivation. Prayer needs to be "other oriented," we need to get beyond the petition praying and get to intercessory prayer. Jesus' prayers were for others, for their healing, their forgiveness, or their restoration; all of which are "other oriented." The profit gained from prayer is for others, not for us!
Prayer is a lost discipline. A discipline that the disciples were challenged to participate in; we are challenged to participate in today. When was the last time you prayed EXPECTING God to answer? When was the last time God answered your prayers? When was the last time you remembered to thank Him for the prayers He DID answer?
In the last 10 years there has been an increased interest in prayer and revival. There are numerous prayer celebrations nationwide, one of them being the National Day of Prayer. Not only do we, as individuals, need to increase our prayer life; but as a nation we need to be petitioning the God of heaven for His grace and mercy for our country -- and for the world as a whole. Let's pray.
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