Do We Believe in Prayer?

I don’t live like I do. I struggle to pray. I say little prayers here and there and sometimes have decent prayer times with Tara, my wife, but it’s like I don’t know how to spend conversational time with my daddy unless I’m praying in a group where others can hear me and I can put on the performance of prayer. And, what that says to me is that I don’t really believe in prayer, that I don’t really believe in my daddy in a personal way, that I am greatly under attack spiritually by the enemy to prevent my prayers, or all three.

I think many struggle with the notion of powerful prayer because they think it in some ways undercuts the sovereignty of God. And, some worry that we might take pride in our prayers if we attributed some outcome to them. However, I don’t think we can read scripture and hear the testimony of so many who have gone before us without realizing the truth that prayer changes things. I don’t have to understand how it works to believe it, you know; I think that is why it is called faith.

Paul talks about how powerfully the intercessory prayer of others worked in his life in 2 Corinthians 1:

We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.

This scripture doesn’t stand alone. We see God and angels acting or not acting in direct response to human prayers in the scriptures. Think Daniel, Elijah, Hezekiah, Moses, and more. I also know that God has directly answered many prayers in my lifetime and have heard scores of testimonies of answered prayers.

So, why don’t I pray more? Why don’t we all pray more?

I liked what Jim Hall said this morning in his teaching on prayer:

It’s easy for me to preach, to teach, to study, to work, to exegete scriptures and the like, but it seems like all the forces of hell come against me when I try to engage my daddy in a conversation.

Lord, please increase my faith in the truths you have shown and taught me about prayer and give me the grace to pray fervently and continually.

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