Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The importance of prayer

“Prayer is request. The essence of request, as distinct from compulsion, is that it may or may not be granted. And if an infinitely wise Being listens to the request of finite and foolish creatures, of course He will sometimes grant and sometimes refuse them.”

C.S. Lewis

I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately to the discipline of prayer. On a daily basis it becomes crucial for us to set aside time to converse with God, share our lives with Him, and allow Him into every area of one’s life. Prayer is such an interesting topic that I believe no one has truly figured out. It is a mysterious experience, one that is unique to each and every individual, depending largely on the depth of their relationship with God. I find that prayer is the single most rejuvenating and refreshing experience that I can continually rely on to keep me following Christ in my life. However, at the same time I find prayer to be sometimes a difficult thing to actually do.

Why is it that there is this tug-a-war that occurs deep within me? I know the amazing benefits of prayer, yet I neglect to enter into prayer as often as I desire or need too. When I take the time to sit down and not just give God all of my request like a to do list, but actually clear space to hear Him speak into my life, I find it very rewarding. I know that if in the next hour I close my computer, turn off my iPod, and welcome Christ to speak into my life He will without a doubt speak to me. What an amazing gift and blessing to be able to be in relationship with God, the creator of everything! So why do I so often choose to not close my computer, turn off the television, turn off the music, seclude myself, and just sit and listen to God?

So far I don’t fully know why I often don’t make space for listening to God in my daily life, however I do know that at least part of the reason is it can be scary. I will admit that often I like the control I have over my life and there is a fear that if I commit more time to prayer I will have to release this control. When I truly listen to Christ speaking into my life it will open up a world of possibilities, some of which can be frightening. What if God ask me to do something I am not ready for or am uncomfortable doing? Look at Moses in the Exodus story, God speaks to him and he tries to tell God he isn’t the right person. Moses eventually allows God to lead him and while Moses becomes one of the most influential leaders ever he also endures many sacrifices and risk everything in order to lead the Israelites.

I know that God is calling me to be a leader and I am still trying to figure out how God is preparing to use me in the years to come. I am scared sometimes that I will not be ready or it won’t be all I expect it to be and I think for this reason I sometimes subconsciously “protect” myself by putting up walls between God and myself. However I believe that it is time for those walls to come down, it is time to clear space in my life daily to listen to Gods voice, and allow him to mold me. It is still scary and there are many unknowns regarding where or what God may call me and my family to do, but one thing is certain, God will provide!

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