Encouraging Prayer

This post is mainly written to myself as a way of encouraging myself to engage in the joy and discipline of prayer.  My wife and I enjoyed some great conversation as we traveled to and from my grandpa’s 70th birthday party (4 hours in the car and a total of 7 hours out of the house away from the kids).  To be utterly transparent, I think I may have discovered the number one barrier to the vibrant prayer life that I desire:

P – R – I – D – E

What a truly ugly word!  I loathe the reality that it currently describes my prayer life.  I believe the reason that my prayer life has sputtered and become ineffective is because I have allowed myself to think more highly of myself that I ought to. For how can one be dependent on God, when he thinks that he has gotten things figured out!  Anyone else ever been there???

I believe that our prayer lives are direct reflections of our dependence on God (i.e. our faith).  What is faith but dependence on God and trusting in His promises.  It should be out of our sheer helplessness that we stretch forth hands of faith in prayer and dependence.  A heart aligned with God does not boast or think highly of what has been accomplished in his own life, but instead projects with gratitude the glory to God.  Prayer should not become some obligation nor duty, but an overflow of faith that cries out for God to move on our behalf.

I came upon this quote that I love from E.M. Bounds on Prayer – “True prayers are born of present trials and present needs.  Bread for today, is bread enough.  Bread given for today is the strongest sort of pledge that there will be bread tomorrow… No amount of praying done today will suffice for tomorrow’s praying”

I pray that this will be my model.  That my children would see me as a man of prayer with present needs to bring before my Creator and Lord.  That I would encourage my wife and all that I come in contact by projecting my faith on God in utter dependence and humility.

Father God, thank you for your reminder of my need to cast aside my pride (to kill the sin), to align my heart with yours, and project my faith on it’s true object, Jesus.  Help me to never lose sight of my daily need for the cross of Jesus in my life.  Impress upon my heart the need for DAILY bread and communion with Jesus.  Strengthen my faith and dependence on you.  Thank you for my wife and family and for leading me in truth.  Thank you for changing me and not leaving me the same as I was yesterday!  In the precious, holy, cleansing name of Jesus.

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