“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Psalms 6:10)
Last Saturday I saw the movie “War Room”. It was a really good movie, one that I highly recommend. After the movie, my SICs (sisters in Christ) and I went for a meal and discussed what we had seen, we each shared something we took from the movie that we felt would enhance and empower our prayer lives. For me, the takeaway was “just do it”.
Prayer is an amazing and powerful gift from God. I don’t know why prayer is difficult for many of us, but it is. There have been thousands maybe even tens of thousands of books written that tell us how to pray, what to pray, when to pray, where to pray. Yet, in spite of all this advice, many of us are prayer deficient. We western Christians are suffering from what we’ll call PDS (Prayer Deficiency Syndrome). Here are some of the reasons we give as the cause of our PDS:
- “I don’t understand prayer”. Scripture tells us to pray (Philippians 4:6), Jesus taught us to pray (Luke 11:1), and the Spirit empowers us to pray (Ephesians 6:18). But, our human minds tend to neglect, even reject, those things we don’t understand. We often think that because God is sovereign and has already determined what will be, our prayers won’t make any difference.
Then he said to me, “Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words. (Daniel 10:12)
2. “I just don’t feel it.” We are created as emotional beings, our emotions from sorrow to joy, are a wonderful gift from God. But, if you haven’t already learned, you will learn, that we are on dangerous ground when we allow our feelings to dictate our decisions (Jude 1:10). Many blessings are missed, because of someone waiting on a feeling. A lot of mistakes are made because someone follows a feeling. Most tragically, souls are being deceived because someone is counting on a feeling. Next time you don’t feel like praying, pray anyway.
But even if we don’t feel at ease, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything. (1 John 3:20 CEV)
3. “My mind wanders.” That’s ok, eventually it will wander over to Jesus. If you will just wait on the Lord, His Spirit will come in and change your wanders to wonders.
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
4. “I’m not sure how I’m supposed to pray.” We think there is some special formula (all those books) we’re supposed to follow when we pray. Consequently, if we don’t stick to the “program”, we question if we’re doing prayer right; we keep trying to get it right, until finally we get frustrated and give up.
And He [Jesus] said to them, “When you pray, say: “(Luke 11:2a)
“And when you pray” (Matthew 6:5a) “But when you pray” (Matthew 6:6a) “And when you pray” (Matthew 6:7a) “Pray then like this: ” (Matthew 6:9a)
What’s the cure for our prayer deficiency, how do we become strong women of prayer? Since formulas seem to be the thing these days, (all those books) I would like to suggest a formula that I found in a book.
Ready? Here you go.
Be. Show up. Every day. You show up for your job, your nail appointment, lunch with the girls. Set a time, set a place and then be there! Turn off the phone, lock the door, pretend you’re not home, whatever you have to do. I mean, do we really want to keep Jesus waiting?
Be still. Stop, look listen. Are you one of those who doesn’t feel it? Be still – 10 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes. If nothing happens, don’t worry about it. Tomorrow is another day (see above and be still).
Be still and know. Know that God is there. Know that He is glad that you are there. Know that He cherishes this time with you.
Be still and know that I AM. I AM listening, I AM your answer, I AM your hope, I AM your peace, I AM all of your tomorrows.
Be still and know that I AM GOD. God on the mountain, God in the valleys, God in the fire, God in the storm. “I AM the Lord your GOD and there is none holy like me, there is none greater than me”.
Good stuff huh?
Before we go, let’s have a look at the final words of our anchor verse. Think about it. Here, in these few words, God answers every single one of our prayers – “I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” What else could you ask for, that pretty much covers it all.
From my heart to yours: My dear sisters, I know that you want quality, effective time with the Lord or you wouldn’t be reading this. You and I look at the hurts and struggles of our family and friends and we want to fix it for them, we want to make everything better. Listen, we don’t have the cure, I’m sorry. In our own power the very best we can hope to do is put a little ointment and a band-aid on the wounds. But, when we give it to Jesus, when we give it to Jesus, when we give it to Jesus… Next time you get a case of PDS, think back on all we’ve talked about today, enter your prayer place humbly and with boldness – standing, kneeling, bowing, resting on the promises of God.