Pray because you want to, not because you’ve been told to! About ten years ago, my doctor told me that I had a serious health problem, and that if I didn’t address it, I would be in a wheelchair in a few years. He told me that I needed to change my diet and exercise regularly. At the time, I was feeling very unwell, so I was highly motivated to follow his instructions. I did it because I had to. Within a year, my health problem had cleared up. Then I stopped the exercise.
Let’s come to the present. I started my new exercise program yesterday. And a week ago I started it again, and also a month ago as well.
Do you know the feeling? When you always seem to be starting a new exercise program because you never seem to follow through on the one you’re meant to be on.
I mean, I just don’t feel like exercising! It’s more comfortable just sitting down and doing something else! But here’s the truth: the less you feel like exercising, the more you should be doing it. And it’s just like that with prayer as well!
Do you pray because you want to? The less you feel like talking with God, the more you should be doing it. The very things in your life that make you not want to pray, are the very reasons why you most need to pray. And prayer will not become truly meaningful to you until you come to the point where you need to pray because you absolutely have to!
The more you talk with God, the more that you’ll want to
Why do you pray? For many years I prayed because I had been told that that’s what you did if you were religious. But some things happened in my life that changed the way I pray. God allowed me to go through some very traumatic experiences that made me understand that I couldn’t depend on everything I thought I could depend: not on my family, not on my church, and not even on myself! I learnt the hard way that there was only One on whom I could depend, that that was the Lord.
I’ve learnt that Jesus loves it when I talk to him, and he always wants to hear from us. Just after saying, “Ask and it will be given to you (Matt. 7:7), he explains why:
If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! – v.11.
And you know what? The more you talk with God, the more that you’ll want to do it. It’s just how it works. And the best kind of prayer life is when you pray because you need to; not because you are necessarily in big trouble, but just because you know you need it more than breathing itself!
Why don’t you plan to set some time aside for communicating with Jesus today? Why not speak with someone who actually loves to speak with you? You can learn to love prayer, and to pray because you want to.
Article supplied with thanks to Dr Eliezer Gonzalez.
About the Author: Dr Eli Gonzalez is the Senior Pastor of Good News Unlimited and the presenter of the Unlimited radio spots, and The Big Question.