Prayer is one of my biggest battles. My flesh often fights against a spiritual desire to pray. And I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because my prayers make a difference.
I recently spoke with two individuals going through tremendous difficulty. And they convinced me of something. Both of them are much older than me. More experienced in this thing called life. And here I am, a young preacher, learning to grapple with empathy.
How am I supposed to speak into that level of pain? I mean, I don’t know what it’s like to be in their shoes. But I’m called to be present in their situations.
I find myself in a season of waiting. And it’s frustrating. There are so many things I just can’t understand. Why is this happening? Why is it taking so long? And how am I supposed to handle the uncertainty? Because it’s getting really hard to keep my head up. Maybe you feel the same way.
But here’s what God has to say: worship in the waiting.
Allow me to share with you a story about two individuals in the Bible who worship while they wait. Their names are Simeon and Anna. Let’s look at Simeon first.
Last week, I described how we need each other. As the body of Christ, we depend on one another. This week, I want to continue with that thought.
I’m learning the power of intercessory prayer. We should pray for each other. When we pray for someone in the body of Christ, we ask God to work on his or her behalf. It’s encouraging for someone struggling through a situation to know someone else is praying for him or her.
The Bible says, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working” (James 5:16 ESV).
I’m obsessed with words. Because of this, I recognize strange correlations. For example, there’s an interesting relationship between the words “here” and “hear.” You see, in order to truly comprehend what someone has to say, you must be present.
In order to hear, you must be here. The same is often true when it comes to God. If you want to hear from God, you should probably be close to Him.
“Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world” (James 4:8 NLT).
If I prayed as much as I worried, I’d be praying constantly. Sounds good to me. After all, Paul writes, “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17 NKJV). Now, there’s a part of me that despises prayer. I’d rather try to figure it out by myself. But there’s another part of me that longs for it. I realize my desperate need for Jesus Christ.
Unfortunately, my struggle for control creates a barrier to my prayer life. Maybe that’s the purpose of Paul’s message to the Philippians.