Prayer and Time Alone with God
Why pray? It is a relevant question because it is a relevant practice. While we might get that in theory, it is so hard to practice prayer! For some, it may be daunting because you just don’t know what to do. What do you say to God? I mean, he already knows everything. We will address that in the coming weeks but the short answer is, “anything!” Just as you went to your mother or father when you were young, you can go to your heavenly father. That’s a simple way to put it.
But I don’t think that’s the biggest stumbling block to practicing prayer. Another reason its hard is because it requires time and discipline. These are two things that people in our culture seem to have a scarcity of. We fill up our time with all kinds of other things. With the rise of social media and always-on phones in our pockets, we’re prone to a sort of ADHD, unable to turn our attention to something that requires a concentrated time of, what would seem to be, inactivity.
But I don’t think that’s the biggest stumbling block either. After all, when you really want to do something, you find a time to do it even when it means carving into time that would have gone to other important things. I think the biggest stumbling block to praying is simply this: we don’t want to do it.
Now some of you may take issue with that statement. You may push back because you know prayer is important and you want to give yourself to important things. And I hope that is genuinely the case. But knowing something is important doesn’t mean that you want to do it or at least want to do it enough to actually do it. I know exercise is important and I want to do it. Sometimes I do, but more often I don’t. But it isn’t because I don’t think it is important. I do! But its hard and takes energy and momentum and I’ve developed habits that don’t include it.
So, what do we need to help us pray? Motivation. Nathan started us down that track last week. We pray because prayer works when nothing else does. That’s pretty powerful stuff especially when you realize that more often than not, that’s where we are. Unfortunately, we don’t often see things that way. We plow forward without prayer because we think we can do things ourselves.
Let me give you another motivation this morning. We pray because time with the Father is an ultimate end. In other words, it is good in and of itself. It isn’t just good because we need his help for other things. It is good just by itself. So let’s look at a day in the life of Jesus to see this.