I confess – I too often avoid or put off going to my knees in prayer, though I feel the need so urgently, though I feel the pull so persistent within me to come away, though I feel the cares of the world and my own becoming too heavy to continue to carry – I also carry within me the memory of moments past spent there in that sacred space, suspended in the safety of His presence – and I know when I enter in, I will be loathe to leave –
while time passes unheeded as I cast my cares and place my petitions before my Heavenly Father – I resist rising again to take up my cross, preferring on bended knee to remain, the needs so great, the petitions so urgent, the circumstances so dire – this place of intercession binding me to God’s very heart for those He loves – how can I rise when there is so much and there are so many needing prayer?
I dare not enter in this sacred place of prayer unless I am prepared to pour out all I hold so tightly within me, leaving me empty and able to share in suffering not my own, added to the pain already in my possession – it is a brokenness I resist, as I fight so valiantly to hold myself together . . .
I know in prayer I will be broken before I am so gently and miraculously put back together again so that I can rise from my bended knees and go forth, only to return again and again – still I am slow to kneel – reluctant to be broken yet one more time again – missing what He waits to give to those who enter in, in obedience . . .
Lord, help me to obey Your commands to pray, starting with Philippians 4:6-7,
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
“I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” (1 Timothy 2:1-2)
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” (Ephesians 6:18)
Clearly, my Heavenly Father invites me, even commands me to pray. In Jeremiah 33:3 He says,
“Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” and in 1 Peter 5:7 He tells me to,
“Cast all your (my) anxiety on Him because He cares for you (me).”
I am told to “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” (Romans 12:12) Some translations say constant, some say persistent in prayer, reinforcing to me my need to be in constant communication with my Heavenly Father, which would be what 1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells me to do, which is to –
“pray without ceasing;”
James 5:16 reminds me, “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”
There is an interesting story in Luke 18 about persevering in prayer. “Then Jesus told His disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” Jesus proceeded to tell His disciples about a widow who asked a judge for justice against her adversary. The judge ignored the widow repeatedly, so she continued to petition him for justice. Finally, the judge granted the widow’s petition because of her persistence. Jesus summed it up this way to His disciples,
“And will not God bring about justice for His chosen ones, who cry out to Him day and night? Will He keep putting them off? I tell you, He will see that they get justice, and quickly.”
There is no shortage of things to pray about in these days of COVID and riots and isolation and uncertainty. But God has promised in 2 Chronicles 7:14-15,
“if My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.”
Lord, help me to pray without ceasing
sincerely, Grace Day