cut rate Christians???

December 31, 2016

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One prayer does not a prayer life make. Prayers without variety eventually become words without meaning. Jesus said that to pray this way is to pray in vain, for in the Sermon on the Mount he warned, “When you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words” (Matt. 6: 7).

 

The tragedy is that too often that’s the way it is with our own prayers. We believe in prayer, and the Spirit of God prompts us to pray, but because we always say the same old things about the same old things, it can seem as though all we do in prayer is simply “heap up empty phrases.” Although this drains most of the motivation from talking with God, we’ll dutifully try to grind out another round of prayer; yet our minds constantly wander from the words, and we condemn ourselves as spiritual failures.

Admit it, how many times have you felt prompted to pray and said “what’s the point?”

I don’t feel any different and God doesn’t seem to hear, I’m still sick, still poor, still discouraged, still stuck, still, still, still, you’d think God was in the moonshine business or blowing sunshine up your skirt.

Notice carefully— for this is very important— that the problem is not that we pray about the same old things. To routinely pray about the same people and situations is perfectly normal. It’s normal to pray about the same old things because our lives tend to consist of the same old things.

 

Doubtless everyone would pray about their future, perhaps asking for direction about some decision, such as a change at work or whether to move to a new place. Or their prayer might be about an upcoming event or some life change that’s on their horizon. It’s very likely all would pray about their finances, seeking God’s provision for that car, for those bills, or for school. Most would pray about their work, or if students, they’d pray in some way about their schoolwork. It’s normal for people to pray in regard to what they spend most of their waking hours doing during the week. Each of these believers would probably pray about some Christian concern, such as something related to their church or to a personal ministry involvement with someone. Possibly they would pray for a brother or sister in Christ who is suffering or for someone with whom they are trying to share the gospel. And then each one would almost certainly pray about the current crisis in his or her life. I have read that each of us experiences a relatively significant crisis on an average of once every six months or so. The matter may be a good thing or a bad thing, a birth or a death, a job change you want or one you don’t want, but it’s such a big deal that when you pray, it’s one of the first things that comes to mind.

 

This situation devours so much of your attention that you need no prayer list to remind you to pray about it. If you are going to pray about your life, these six things are your life, aren’t they? If you don’t think so, how much of your life is not at all related to your family, your future, your finances, your work or schoolwork, your Christian concerns, and the current crisis? These are the areas where you devote almost all your time.

 

Moreover, these are the great loves of your life, the places where your heart is. And, thankfully, these things don’t change dramatically very often. Families, for example, don’t experience the changes of marriages, births, and deaths month after month, year in and year out. While there may be frequent small changes in these areas, really big changes in our family, work, etc., usually don’t happen every week or even every month. So, if you are going to pray about your life, and if these six things are your life, and if these things don’t change significantly very often, that means you are going to pray about the same old things most of the time. That’s normal.

Therefore the problem is not that we pray about the same old things; rather, it’s that we say the same old things about the same old things. It seems that virtually everyone begins to pray this way sooner or later, and it is boring. And when prayer is boring, we don’t feel like praying. When we don’t feel like praying, it’s hard to pray, at least in any sort of focused, heartfelt way. That’s when we are tempted to think, It must be me. I must be just a second-rate Christian. The natural response to such discouragement can be, “Then stop it! Quit praying. Why do this to yourself? If prayer is so boring and leaves you so frustrated and disheartened, then don’t pray anymore.”

 

See that’s exactly the trap the devil wants you to fall into, it’s human nature (fallen human nature) to always want the enticing and the exciting.

 

Stay tuned for the answer, or pay 19.95 to get the book emailed to you (that’s a joke) there’s never a fee here, God paid for everything.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

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