Good News-Prayer: Communion with God
Before launching into this week’s discussion on prayer, I must make a confession: What I am saying here, I am saying to myself as much as to anyone else because this is something I struggle greatly with. I offer up quick prayers throughout the day, but I lack discipline. I struggle to make time where prayer is my only focus, and I frequently fail in this struggle. However, by God’s grace, I think I have a piece of wisdom on the subject worth sharing.
Although this could apply to any of the spiritual disciplines equally, I’m going to take a moment here to talk about time. One of my all-too-often excuses not to pray is that I don’t have enough time. I’m too tired; I have too much homework; I need to spend time with my friends. These are all good things. But we should not let what is good take the place of what is best. Something that has helped me in this is the realization that I always find time to do what I think is important. No matter how busy my day is, I always find time to use the restroom. I always find time to eat. I regularly attend class. I regularly make time to spend with my fiancé. I know that God is not any less important than any of these things. Yet I struggle to act on this knowledge.
So I pray for myself and for us that God would ignite our hearts to pray.
Touching on my article from last week, I want to remind us that prayer is not the unreasonable demand of a harsh god, but rather the opportunity to connect with the Creator who loves us. Though it seems like one more demand on our already packed schedules, it is actually a call to peace and joy.
God already knows what we need before we say it. So why do we need to pray? I think it goes back to the relational aspect of God. Through prayer, He invites us to be a part of what He is doing. He delights in us and wants us to share our heart with Him. He wants to hear our desires, our longings, our hopes and disappointments. He even wants us to bring our doubts to Him.
This only begins to touch the surface of prayer. There is so much more to be said about this, and indeed, countless authors have written books and books about it, and more skillfully than I. I want to continue this discussion of prayer next week, looking more specifically at the mechanics of prayer, as I have talked here more about the reason for prayer.