As Ricky left with our breakfast orders, I asked Stan, “You ever have times when you don’t feel like praying?”
“Just as well ask me if I’ve ever eaten a blueberry pancake,” Stan replied with a smile.
“If that’s a ‘yes’,” I said, “what do you do when you don’t feel like praying?”
“Pray,” was his one-word answer.
“Pray when you don’t feel like praying?” I said. “How does that make any sense?”
Rather than answer my question directly, Stan asked, “When you don’t feel like praying, who do you think is at the root of that feeling?”
“Oh,” I replied. “You’re probably right. Satan doesn’t want me to pray.”
“Probably right?” Stan asked with a smile. “From way too much personal experience, I’ve learned that praying to God is one of the last things Satan wants me to do.”
“And what do you do about that?”
“Pray,” Stan replied. “Tell God frankly that I don’t feel like praying. He already knows that anyway! Then ask Him to open me to hear all He has to say to me.”
“But what if I don’t hear anything?”
“Stay there in prayer until you do,” Stan replied. “Again, this is what I have learned from too many times of not staying in prayer until I hear from God about what’s on His heart that He wants me to know.”
“What if I don’t have time for that?”
“Don’t have time?” Stan asked rather pointedly. “Something’s more important than hearing what God has for you to hear? Seems to me you may also want to ask God about that! And be sure to wait for His answer!”
Bible verses to consider:
And it came about that while He was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples.” Luke 11:1.
Pray, then, in this way: . . . . Matthew 6:9.
And when He rose from prayer, He came to His disciples and found them sleeping from sorrow, and said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Arise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.” Luke 22:45-46.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for allowing me to come before you in prayer. I confess that too often I choose not to pray because I have the self-focused, Satan-inspired, desire to do something other than pray. Please forgive that foolishness. I also confess that too often I don’t stay in prayer long enough for you to tell me what’s on your heart. Again, please forgive that foolishness. Please, Father, help me in following every step of your lead into the deepest possible prayer life you have for me so I truly and only seek what’s on your heart, knowing you already know what’s on mine. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: How’s your prayer life? Do you find yourself sometimes saying you don’t feel like praying, don’t have time, or something similar? If so, what’s that all about? Do you believe that the main purpose of prayer is to find out what’s on God’s heart, rather than telling Him things He already knows? Why or why not? If you sense the need for change in how you pray, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?