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.”
— Luke 11:1
At first, when I saw my name appear on the list of devotional writers addressing prayer this week, I panicked. Oh, no! Not my strong suit, I thought. What will I write? Do I have anything at all to contribute that will benefit someone out there? I began several sentences, but nothing clicked. Every typed word seemed mundane, without feeling, and if I couldn’t make the connection, how could I expect anyone else to?
Honestly, my prayer life has fallen way short of my own expectations. Maybe because so many times, my petitions seemed not to make it past the ceiling, pretty much to the point where I would begin to question if God were listening. And if he is, does what I have to say or ask of him matter? Will anything change?
We all experience unanswered prayer, sometimes more often than we would like to, which can prompt questions and doubts. We may ask, “Why bother? Will my prayer have an impact? A bearing on the outcome?” If it concerns the Cowboys versus the Redskins this weekend, probably not. Even though I feel certain God is a Cowboys fan, I seriously doubt it is God’s voice Kellen Moore will hear in his headsets when feeding in plays to Dak. However, as F.B. Meyer suggests, “The greater tragedy of life is not unanswered prayer, but unoffered prayer.”
We are encouraged repeatedly in scripture to pray, “always without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Jesus taught his disciples in Luke 18:1 that they should always pray and not give up.
If prayer is a discipline you need help with, as I did and still sometimes do, it would be well worth your time to contact us. We would love to have a conversation with you and share a treasure chest of resources to help in your quest to develop an effective life of prayer.