/ Gentle Reformation

My Self-seeking, Pointless Praying

Recently I was given cause to think about prayer, or more honestly my prayerlessness.  So I read through a few of the prayers in the Bible.  Three things struck me as a result.

First - Those praying were highly sensitised to the fact that God speaks.  Of course I know God speaks.  I spend my life telling other people that.  But the idea that God speaks, and therefore I need to listen when praying, well that gained my attention and held me in thought for a while.  It forced me to ask questions about my approach when speaking with God.

Second - Prayer arises out of a deep sense of need.  Hannah prayed because she was in desperate need.  The prayers of David, Daniel, Nehemiah ..... the Lord Jesus, they're all fuelled by a real sense of need. A deep awareness of being in a situation that is beyond them. As I mulled that over, I was struck by the absence of that in my life.  Yes I'm conscious of my need/s and genuinely pray, but as to an overwhelming sense of utter helplessness.....? That sense of being totally incapable of being a loving husband and a godly, caring, and genuinely interested father apart from God's grace. That sense of being utterly incapable of effectively pastoring the beloved of God, without His hourly guidance and help. That sense of being totally hopeless at preaching God's Word without the power of the Holy Spirit. These thoughts disturbed me, and the conclusions I reached shook me.

Third -  The only objective, the only goal that is truly warranted in prayer is the glory of God.  Any other motivation is self-seeking and therefore pointless.  How often praying degenerates into nothing more than seeking to 'get' for self ease.  The joy filled  purpose of praying solely for the sake of God's glory so often eludes. Why....?

Don't be concerned at my sense of prayerlessness.  The closet door is now being shut with a greater sense of need, a clearer sense of purpose, and with a stronger desire to listen. That's a genuine cause for thanks.

How is it with you when you turn your face to seek Him?