Struggling Through Prayer
Most Christians admit to struggling in their prayer life at various times. I remember when my mother in law was in hospice care. I struggled to know how to pray. It seemed like I prayed the same prayers over and over and became angry with God that He did not act according my timing and requests. I remember praying about the direction of a church I was leading. It seemed the Lord was not giving a clear vision to us and we seemed to be drifting. I remember praying for the grace to forgive some folks who had hurt me in that church. It seemed that God was not listening. Prayer is tough and serious business. It is all about an honest and open relationship with our Heavenly Father. The BIble instructs us to pray about everything. So I usually do. Recently on my first day of fishing in Alaska I was not catching any salmon. So I prayed for success on the river! And God answered my prayer. It felt good to pray even about this trivial matter and I imagine that God enjoyed the conversation!
How do you pray when life is tough and answers are few? How do you pray when you do not even seem to have the words or the thoughts to sum up your struggles and disappointments? How does one pray for a life mate, a new job, success in business or for our children? I find that following the examples of faithful people in the scriptures is helpful. Try looking at Jabez's prayer in I Chronicles 4 or Joshua's prayer in chapter 7 of his book; look at Jesus's prayer for the church in Luke 11 and James' prayer in his letter, chapter 5.
I find it helpful to learn from the prayers of the saints. Listen to a seasoned disciple when they pray. Ask them what makes prayer effective for them. And most of all, just do it! Prayer is all about relationship and this takes time, listening, patience and perseverance. From my perspective, prayer is so worth it. I think I'll stop this blog and just talk with the Lord. He is listening and available. Give him a call!