Friday, March 10, 2017

Why Should We Pray

The first time I have ever seen a sun dog (or even heard of it)

As we drove home from youth group last night, I asked David and Lizzy what they talked about in their respective groups (junior high boys or girls groups).  Lizzy said that they talked about having prayer times.  I asked her why we should have daily prayer times.  "I don't know."  Hmmm.

I thought about that for a minute and had an idea:

I have two friends.  You only have two friends?  No, I have lots of friends, but this story is only about two of them.  One friend I met in junior high.  We were great friends, spent lots of time together.  Then she left my school and moved to another town about a half hour away.  I saw her less, but we still got together for sleepovers and talked on the phone (this was in the stone age before texting and email).  We kept this up until college when life got busier.  We still saw each other on occasion and were even in each other's weddings.  Then we started having kids and she moved even further away and we lost touch.  Now we are friends only on facebook.

And then there is my other friend.  We talk on the phone regularly, text, and meet up to hang out.  Sometimes we get together as families and sometimes I meet her for coffee just to talk.  Most of the time our conversations aren't really profound or important.  They are just about life.  But every now and then we will talk about things going on in our lives and she will say something that changes how I see something, or vice versa.  Or if one of us has a problem, she will help me or I will help her.

I want you to think about this as it relates to God.  Most of your prayer times won't be profound.  They will just be shooting the breeze with God and building a relationship.  But sometimes God will speak to you in a powerful way, give you direction, help you with something, or even give you a new perspective that will change your entire life's course.  

If one in ten prayer times are profound, and you only pray once a week, you will only have that moment 5 times in a year.  But if you pray every day, you will have that 36 times!

And on those normal, un-profound days, they aren't wasted.  You are building intimacy with God.  You are getting to know Him, His real character.  Over time it will shape your character to be more like Him.  It will keep your ears open for when He speaks to you.  It will help you to see the world through His eyes and not yours."

All three of us left the car with a whole new perspective on daily prayer.  As I shared this with my kids, a light bulb went on in my own heart.  For years I have approached daily prayer expecting God to speak to me in a big way every day.  And getting mad or feeling hurt when God didn't.  I have been brushing aside the day-to-day relationship as insignificant.  I have been viewing reading the Bible and uneventful prayer as boring.  No words from the Lord, no profound inspiration, no mountain tops every day.  But these types of days are the ones that build the intimacy and the relationship which set us up for God to be able to speak into our lives when the time is right.  And the more I pray, the more I get to know God and His character, and the more His character can form my character and make me more like Him.

I will approach prayer in a whole new light.

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