Previously, we defined prayer as a conversation between you and God about the world around you and the world within you. This conversation, which usually begins as a desire to get something from God, leads to a greater knowledge and affirmation of God’s Love for us and our love for God. Let us explore this a little more by looking at instances of prayer in the Bible.
When you read about prayer in the Bible, we are rarely told about the common every day prayers. These are almost a presumption and only later is it mentioned in a passing verse that such and such person prayed. Instead we are told about the prayers during momentous occasions or the prayers that effect great change. Sometimes, the change is instantaneous. But sometimes this is not the case. Daniel, Hannah, Elijah and Naaman all experienced periods in their lives where continuous prayer was required in order to effect a change.
This pattern puzzles me.
Between Heaven and Earth
I suppose all the questions above revolve around one truth: my prayer expresses my nature as a union of eternity and time. Read the previous sentence again and let it sink in. We were made by God from temporal earth and eternal spirit
Now we are told to pray to God because, through sin, we often pray to ourselves. So also, Jesus taught us how to pray and in the difficult day, He told His disciples to “Watch and pray”
Mover of Mountains, Lord of Valleys
But unlike prayer, it is not difficult to convince someone not to hold their breath for too long. In fact, the maximum recorded time possible is 22 minutes and 22 seconds. But prayer is more vital, more basic than breath and so, like young David in the field, prayer is easily forgotten. Instead, when we are in the valley of the shadow of death, we stop praying and instead begin to fear evil. And as we said in How To Fear, whatever you fear, you will eventually worship.
Yet we rarely feel the immediate effects when we stop praying. We don’t understand that our being, composed of eternity and time, never goes silent. Just like the stars in the sky that will always radiate light, so also, our beings will always radiate prayer. Therefore, as soon as we stop praying to God, we immediately start praying to other gods. Consequently, instead of growing, we begin to wither and instead of knowing
If prayer is so so critical, then why do we ever stop? It is because prayer appears to be weak. When the house is on fire, it would seem that our focus should be to get to safety or call 911. Talking to God about the fire does not seem to be the most immediate of concerns. We do not easily notice that just as we were saved by the “foolish” gospel, so also mountains are moved by the “weakness” of prayer
Let us not lose courage when the battle is thick and let us not be in a hurry when the fire is hot. Let us not pray to ourselves by fleeing in fear or by rushing in to fix a problem. Instead, let us pray to God and seek His Power to aid us. It only takes one second but when He Hears His little child crying, He moves mountains to help her.