This was a quote from my pastor at a Bible study I recently attended. It kind of hit home…
A life that has little to no prayer, is a life that seeks independence from God. If your prayer life has been lacking lately, you can rest assured that instead of being brought closer to God; you are actually seeking independence from Him. It may not be something that you do on purpose, or something that you desire to do. Rather quite the contrary, usually it’s because we are pre-occupied with other things that we just don’t care or just don’t have the time to pray. Which brings us back to the ‘apathetic Christianity,’ that we discussed last week. For prayerlessness is carelessness.
As Christians we can’t say that we love God and then not seek him in prayer. For prayer is an essential part of being a believer. And if your prayer life is little to none, or done only at meals and before bedtime, then I have to ask you, do you really have a relationship with God? Or do you have more of a legalistic ritual of prayer going on?
“When you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.” Matthew 6:5
May I suggest to you, that a legalistic ritual of prayer is taking on the attitude of a Pharisee. Like those who prayed in the marketplace publicly for all to see, yet lacked a spiritual relationship with the Heavenly Father. They prayed legalistically in a ritual form, yet never got down at heart level and poured their souls out to the Lord. It was all about a ritual and little about a relationship. Which one is it that you have? A relationship or a ritual that leads to a declaration of independence from God?
My friends, the Lord wants to know what’s going on in your life. He wants to know your needs, your desires, your wants. He wants you to pray for others. He wants to hear you express your praises to Him, your thanks to Him, and your adoration for Him. He wants to know how your day went, he wants to hear you ask for forgiveness for your wrong doings, he wants to be your Father, your Friend, your King. Our prayer life should not only be about praying at certain times, although all of that is good, he wants more. He wants us to pray without ceasing….
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19
Does that mean we have to pray 24/7? No, but it does mean that you can pray and have a conversation with God at all times. When you are alone, pray, when you are in a bind pray, when you are happy pray. Pray in all situations and under all circumstances. And don’t just ask him for your needs and wants, although he wants to know that too, but also give him thanks, express your love for him, and praise him.
Don’t be a ritualistic legalistic Pharisee and don’t let your prayer life lack to the point that you are teetering down the path of becoming independent from God. God wants a dependent relationship from us.
So this week let’s not seek a declaration of independence, rather let’s seek a declaration of dependence from our Heavenly Father! Allow Him to transform your life and open the doors of communication that have been long since been forgotten. For you will be amazed at how God responds.
Love you all!