I pray in the morning and in the evening, and sometimes, a few times in-between. I feel my day is not complete if I had not prayed in my scheduled time. (Now that I mentioned it, it suddenly occurred to me that – could it be that I sometimes feel my day is not complete without a prayer because I consider it a chore that needs to be accomplished? An item in my checklist that needs to be checked?). But I know this for sure, that at the end of the day when my prayer time is pushed further into the night (or sometimes it is omitted entirely because I just don’t have the strength to get up), I imagine God looking at me and at my weaknesses and failures.
I pray through sicknesses in the family. I pray through my suffering (that is, when breathing allows). I pray in the midst of problems and challenges and fears. I know how to pray powerfully, agonizingly, and faithfully. I know how to pray and lay down all my supplications, every single one of them, for doesn’t the Bible say, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Phil. 4:6)?
I know how to keep still and just pray and trust as the storm rages. Sometimes it took weeks and months. I know how to have nothing except my faith and prayers.
And yet, I had mentioned in my last post that sometimes, I don’t even know how to start my prayer, especially after a nasty storm of physical suffering that left me battered to the bone. After ten long years of walking in faith with my Savior Jesus Christ, I had encountered various problems (impediments) in my prayer life.
What shall I pray for this time that God would hear? He hasn’t heard me the past weeks, why should He hear me now?
(A still small voice whispers as I wallow in discouragement and idleness). Why should I keep on praying for that, He ignores it every time?
(Deep in the recesses of my mind). There’s no use praying over and over for that one. It’s just futile.
Though I pray and pray for this very important thing, nothing happens. But I pray anyway because it’s the right thing to do.
You can see that at these times, my prayer life has been decimated by unbelief (instead of powerful and faithful, it has become routine), doubts, discouragement, disappointment, bitterness, discontent, dismay…
But of course, after ten years of being in the Word and listening to God’s voice (though not all the time!), I know the “antidotes” to the poison: that I “ought always to pray, and not to faint” and remember the Lord’s parable about the wicked judge and the aggrieved widow, that after her unrelenting petitions to the judge, he gave her what she wanted (see Luke 18).
Then there is also the parable of the man who is in need of bread and goes to his neighbor and knocks and asks to borrow bread and he is denied, but he keeps on knocking and asking, until his request is granted him (see Luke 11).
So, we know perseverance and persistence in prayer. And yet.
And yet there still comes a time that we need all the motivation (oiling) we can get to start our prayer wheels running. Prayer to be powerful must not be a mere “going through the motions”. It should be laced with power and soaked in genuine, unwavering faith. Now, even in our weakest moments, if our prayers are uttered in faith, I believe they will avail much.
Spurning the things that hinder our prayer life, we shall pray with renewed fervency and urgency imbued with power supplied by the Holy Spirit. There is nothing that shall stop us.
Two mornings ago, after a sleepless night due to my son’s bout of asthma-like cough, I received a new inspiration to
Indeed, we can all learn from the faith of a child.
Just a few minutes after my husband praised, prayed, and laid hands on our son Tim to cast out his asthma attack and left the room, Tim requested me to pray again. Heeding an inner voice not to hesitate and doubt or reason out (that his Dad had just prayed for him), I prayed earnestly and laid my hands on him. Immediately, he coughed out phlegm after sticky, hard phlegm, and he was greatly relieved.
Do not be weary in prayer! Do not grow faint in faith!
Now, by the grace of God, Tim is recovering well.
I might be linking up with these lovely blogs.
Journey with Jesus,