Running from Prayer

Prayer is hard. It is a difficult discipline to master. All Christians know they should pray. Most would admit that they don’t pray enough. Some might even confess that they don’t enjoy praying. Why is this the case for many believers? Prayer is spending time in communion with the God who has delighted in us, and has proved His love for us by redeeming us through Christ.

Yet we run from prayer. This speaks to the pull of our flesh. In many ways, we are still enemies of God, trying to hide from God like Adam and Eve in Eden after they sinned. Even with redeemed souls, our worldly flesh still objects to spending time in the presence of a holy God. And so prayer is something that Christians are both drawn to do instinctively through the Spirit, and yet run from because of the power and pull of the flesh.

What can help us run to God, rather than running from God? Disciplining ourselves to pray is ultimately a love issue. When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was, He answered that we must love God with all that we are and all that we have. Believers often drag themselves to prayer with souls that are cold. We have a sense of duty for prayer, but we fail to delight in prayer. We fail to delight in prayer because we are failing to love God. Love must fire the discipline. Love must drive all spiritual disciplines.  Without love, our acts of devotion are heartless rituals. When love is the fuel, prayer is transformed.

 How can we grow in our love for God? The answer is that we must sit under, meditate on, and glory in the truth of the Gospel. We must remember we were in a hopeless and helpless condition. We must remember what we were in our own righteousness. We must remember what we rightfully earned from God…wrath and judgment.  And then think about and stand in awe of what Jesus has done for you. Chew on the truth that you were dead in your sins and trespasses, and God made you alive together with Christ. He has forgiven you all your sins, setting them aside, nailing them to the cross. Bask in the glory of the Gospel. Behold His glory, and allow Him to transform you (2 Corinthians 3:18). Soaking in the Gospel will naturally cause you to run to God in prayer.

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