Monday, November 1, 2010

A Woman's Call to Prayer :: Chapter 4

Chapter 4:: Ten Reasons Women Don't Pray- Part 3

If you want a life of prayer,
 the way to get it is
by praying.
-Thomas Merton

7) Faithlessness- We don't really believe in the power of prayer.  We don't think that prayer makes any difference.  We don't believe that things might have different outcomes due to faithful and earnest prayer... therefore we don't pray.

Whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.
Matthew 21:22

Enjoy the devotional thought that follows regarding this wonderful promise from Jesus... and then, in faith and by faith, draw the bow, shoot the arrow, and in prayer send your heart's message upward to heaven!

Prayer is the bow,
the promise is the arrow:
faith is the hand which draws the bow, and
sends the arrow with the heart's message to

The bow without the arrow is of no use; and
the arrow without the bow is of little worth; and
both, without the strength of the hand, to no

Neither the promise without prayer,
nor prayer without the promise,
nor both without faith,
avail the Christian anything.

What was said of the Israelites, "they could not enter in
because of unbelief,"
the same may be said of many of our prayers; they
cannot enter heaven, because they are not put up in

8) Pridefulness- Prayer reflects our dependence on God.  When we fail to pray, we are saying that we don't have any needs...or worse, that we are choosing not to ask the one Person who can help us.  Our prayerlessness defiantly declares, "I'll take care of it myself, thank You!" 
So let's be quick to humble ourselves and pray and seek God's glorious face.

The self-sufficient do not pray, the self-satisfied will not pray, the self-righteous cannot pray.
The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.
Psalm 34:18

9) Inexperience- We don't pray because we don't pray! And because we don't pray, we don't know how to we don't pray.  It's a vicious cycle.  Yet prayer, like any skill, becomes easier with repetition.  The more we pray, the more we know how to pray.  And the more we know how to pray, the more we pray.  It's as simple as that.

Lord, teach us to pray
Luke 11:1

If we are willing to take hours on end to learn to
play the piano, or operate a computer, or fly an
airplane, it is sheer nonsense for us to imagine
that we can learn the high art of getting guidance
through communion with the Lord without being
willing to set aside time for it.  It is no accident
 that the Bible speaks of prayer as a form of
waiting on God.

10) Laziness-
First, I put my personal principle of "head for bed" into action as soon as the evening meal was done and the kitchen cleaned up.  No, that doesn't mean that I went to bed at six o'clock. But it does mean that at six o'clock I began to get my daughters bathed and into their pajamas.  I would also shut down the house, wash my face and brush my teeth, check the schedule for the next day and begin a to-do list, and get into my own pj's.  Then I set out my prayer notebook and Bible in the place where I would (Lord willing!) have my devotions the next morning.

Second, I put my prayer principle of "something is better than nothing" to work for me when it was actually time to pray.  I had to dispel the myth of the desired and hoped for "sweet hour of prayer" and try for something more manageable and realistic for successfully getting the discipline of daily prayer into place.

Checklist for Prayer

Access your faith-quotient- Do you believe God answers prayer? Or do you fall into the category of those Jesus addressed as "O you of little faith"? my unbelief.
Mark 9:24

Take time to think- Really think about what keeps you from praying.  Hold each of these ten reasons for failing to pray up to God in prayer.  Lay your soul before God, and submit your heart to Him for scrutiny.

For instance, ask in prayer:

God, is there too much of the world in my life and not enough of You?  Am I like Martha, too focused on the busy details of daily life and failing to see the big picture, the necessity of prayer? Am I living out the definition of a fool by allowing what is insignificant to rob me of the most significant use of my time- time spent praying about my life?  Have I allowed anything to create a distance between us, Lord? Father, am I neglecting to ask of You in prayer because of a failure to understand Your magnanimous nature? Or is it due to some area of sin in my life that I'm refusing to deal with? Or is my failure to pray a faith issue, a lack of trust? Or pride? Or do I just plain ole don't know how... or am I just plain ole lazy?

Desire to answer God's all- You see, you and I can know we need to pray, and we can learn the skills involved in praying.  Yet if we never desire to pray, our knowledge and skills mean nothing.  Praying will never become a habit or a discipline because the one main ingredient is missing.  My friend, it's imperative that we desire to pray!

Prayer is so simple;
It is like quietly opening a door
And slipping into the very
presence of God,
There is stillness
To listen to His voice;
Perhaps to petition,
It matters not.
Just to be there
In His presence
Is Prayer.

Pg. 42-51

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