Why is it we find it so difficult to pray?! I am writing this Seed partly to myself because I struggle as much as anybody – particularly when, as now, I am going through quite a difficult time as I try to come to terms with loss and I find concentration difficult.
It is said that Satan trembles when Christians get on their knees, and we know this, but even so, the prayer meetings are often the least well-attended of any meetings in church. We have recently been encouraged to begin prayer cells in our church, but so far there are very few.
Maybe some find it hard to pray, or feel embarrassed to pray out loud, in front of others, but Jesus says: ‘Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them’. Prayer is most powerful when we pray with one another and I find it encouraging.
Is it perhaps that we often don’t see an immediate answer to our prayers? We live in an age when communication is instant with emails, mobiles and texting, but we know from past experience that God frequently doesn’t answer our prayers immediately. We think it would be wonderful if He did but He always knows the best timing for us. It may also be that what we are praying for is not in His will and it sometimes helps when we pray using Scriptures.
Smith Wigglesworth, who had a wonderful ministry in the north of England at the turn of the last century, was once asked how often he prayed. His answer was that he never prayed for more than half an hour at a time, but that he never went for more than half an hour without praying – in other words he was in constant touch with the Lord.
There is no getting away from it: prayer is hard work, but if we are to be effective in our Christian walk we have to stick at it, and even if we don’t have an answer straight away we should be persistent, as Jesus encouraged us in the parable of the widow and the unjust judge.
Prayer: Father God, there are many times when I struggle to pray. I long to have a deeper relationship with You, but somehow I find it hard. Thank You for Your patience with me, and please help me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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