There’s no doubt that living in a developed country means dividing one’s time across many things. From responsibilities to hobbies, there’s so much out there that we can focus on. However, having too much to think/worry about can hurt our ability to spend time with what’s important. For Christians, I think that distractions can often keep us from fully engaging our relationships with Christ. In my own life, dividing my time among a lot of different things affects my ability to take prayer seriously.
Let’s face it, it’s easy to chuck up a few prayers hoping that God answers them the way we want, and move on if He doesn’t. There have been many times where I’ve asked for something, it never came to fruition, and I just gave up on it. In some ways, you could call it spiritual laziness. It’s pathetic and certainly not biblical.
My church organizes a time once a month to allow people to come up after the service and pray with a church leader for God to work a miracle of some kind in their lives. Some people ask for healing of an illness, others as for help with unemployment, and some ask for prayer for an addiction they’re dealing with. Whatever the case, it’s a neat time to have another believer pray over you.
My pastor regularly acknowledges that some people attending the service may have been praying for something for a very long time; sometimes months or years but to no avail. Those people may see going to the front for prayer to be all but pointless. My pastor always encourages those folks to continue asking the Lord for help. Today, however, he said something that really struck me and got me thinking. He said that was that today might be the last time you need to pray for (x) ever again. I’ve been a Christian for a long time and I can’t recall ever having prayed: “Dear Lord, please let this be the last time I ever need to ask you for this again.”
Does that mean that I don’t believe in God’s power to answer prayers? Certainly not! However, it might mean that I’m not always as engaged and confident in the things I ask God for as I should be. I would imagine that others, perhaps even you, might feel the same way. I suspect those things in life that consume our attention may have something to do with it, but what if that changed? What if we treated every prayer like it was the last prayer we’d ever whisper?
Consider this: you have something in your life that you’ve been praying about for a long time. You’ve asked and asked, yet nothing seems to ever come of it. Prayer starts to be come routine and you start to doubt that things will ever change. “Maybe God’s will is to never answer me?” That scenario may be familiar to you. Now what if you knew without a doubt that tomorrow your prayer would be answered? All you had to do to solidify that was to ask one more time. Wouldn’t that be the most earnest prayer you’d ever have prayed? Wouldn’t you be filled with hope? For me, the answers are yes and yes.
My challenge this week (and going forward) is to make a point to pray every prayer with earnestness and confidence. I’m determined to pray every one of those prayers like it’s the last prayer I’ll ever have to raise. Maybe you’ll start doing that too. If so, drop me a line. I’d love to hear about it.