This post was a long time in the coming.
I had read a book a while back (I forgot which one, by Max Lucado that spoke about prayer in such a way that left an impression on me). When I remember which I will update this post to give the author credit for his information from that specific book. I have to apologize, because I have read so many Max Lucado Books.
Luke 11: 1-4
One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say:“‘Father,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.
And lead us not into temptation.’”
The power of prayer is magnificent. The lord taught his disciples to pray.
He showed his disciples that praying can do marvels.
he was an amazing example, he prayed for hours, for days and even weeks.
In Max Lucado’s book, again I can not remember which one, but the following paraphrase from the book stuck with me…. it resonated so, because I felt it applied to me as well.
“Hey, how many of us are recovering prayer wimps? Seriously? Prayer wimps? You know the one who zig zags in thought while trying to meditate in prayer. The one who dozes off in sleep due to exhaustion while praying. We have moments where we are distracted, we are so busy we are exhausted. We have to work, tend to the kids, prep their meals, get ready for school, clean the house, provide for our significant others… Our days can be exhausting… Some don’t even have those few seconds or minutes to themselves for a quick prayer.”
“We’ve all heard that it is important to pray. We’ve all reached out to fellow prayer warriors in time of need, we’ve even been prayer warriors when our fellow brothers and sisters have been in need. It’s evident prayer is important and effective. We see those whom pray a lot and others whom don’t pray often. Some are stronger in prayer than others.”
“Some are the team seal six, alpha dog prayer warrior, multiple championship prayer warrior, they are in the ivy leagues of prayer while some of us are in the prayer wimps association. These warriors pray often, pray hard, would spend hours praying while others can’t find five seconds to say ” thank you Jesus for this day amen. ” Five seconds a prayer of thanks.”
“Now you and I, as well as those we know who are Members in the prayer wimps association have something in common. We have ADDiP ( attention deficit disorder in prayer) I am kidding we aren’t the only ones who struggle with prayer.”
We all would like to pray stronger, deeper, more powerful, more faithful. But we aren’t the only ones who’s struggled. Many of us have ADDiP. This paraphrase that I just mentioned above in the last 4 paragraphs hit a me hard. It struck a cord deep within. It woke me up, like whoa this pastor also struggles with Prayers as I do.
I have no problem praying for others, but there are those times that I just can’t focus, can’t sit still, cant pray long enough etc.
Back to the Bible verse Luke 11:1-4, The disciples had asked Jesus for guidance in prayer. Not in teacher teach me how to raise the dead, dude I have a party to go to this weekend I want to impress this girl, show me how to turn water in to wine, not in how to heal, walk on water…. But in prayer…. And faith.
Mathew 7:7 (NIV) “Ask and it will be given to you” They asked, and they received the lesson needed to pray. Without being able to pray, communicate with the father, be able to listen, all those amazing miracles that we could do would be for naught if we cannot commune with our father in Prayer.
Mathew 21:22″If you believe you will get anything you ask in prayer”.
Jesus also led by example. He prayed before he ate, prayed for the children, prayed for the sick, prayed in tears, he prayed in public, he prayed in private, he prayed for hours, he prayed for minutes, he prayed for days, he prayed when the heavens and earth were created, he who is one with God prayed.
We should strive to pray the way Jesus pray, so we two can be one with God in praying and meditation. It is possible, we have to be patient, strong, have faith and actually pray with all one’s might.
Imagine being of his friends, or disciples:
Me:hey John have you seen Jesus?
John: Nah man he’s doing his thing he’s out there praying again.
In today’s day this conversation would have ended in so many ways.
Some may have made fun of him.
Some would have respected him.
Some would have looked at him as he’s wacky.
But he always Prayed.
Mark 6:46 – he prayed in the hills
Mark 11:25 – And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
1thesalonians 5:16-18 – Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
James 5:16 – Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
James 5:13 – Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.
Ephesians 6:18 – And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. ***** this one I feel is most important. Pray in the Spirit!!!!
Luke 18:1 –Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.
There was a minister Yiye Avila, may he rest in peace, (google him if you know Spanish) he was amazing preacher. He prayed fervently and for hours on end. I’ve felt that if there is anyone who prayed as hard as Jesus did (or close to) it would be Yiye. His messages and teachings were God filled. He taught his church you need to always pray, not in the flesh, but in the Spirit as the bible says. You need to pray in the same manner Jesus prayed, not for five minutes, not for ten minutes, but for hours, days and weeks if need be. That channel of communication with God should be open, we should be praying as we walk, as we talk to others, as we work. Praying 24/7.
Thank you for this day. Thank you for all you provided. Forgive me for being weak for having ADDIP. Forgive me for my short prayers. I ask for strength and guidance and endurance to be able to pray long. To be able to pray stronger, to be able to pray more, to be able to be in the spirit while praying, to be able to pray 24/7 and have that constant communication with you. Amen.