“About all we can do now is pray and hope for the best.”
We don’t just wake up one day when life is “going good” and say, “All I can do now is pray.” Nope. We say those words when pain envelopes our life’s movie set and it fades to black. Of course God wants us to pray when we are consumed by that darkness. But he does not want us to wait for that!
God wants us to connect with him in prayer every day—through both the positive and negative winds blowing in our life–and stop trying to do everything on our own.
Will we have doubts if we take that approach? C’mon, you know the answer to that question. YES! But it’s ok because God knows all about our doubt and implores us to trust him.
“But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.” James 1:6
In addition to doubt, there will be times when our prayer tank seems to be empty and we don’t know what to pray or how to pray. That’s ok, too. Remember, our empty prayer tank can be refilled. There is always something to praise; always a promise to embrace; always someone in need of prayer; always a plea for provision; and always a sin to avoid. I could go on, but you get the idea. There is ALWAYS a prayer to pray.
RHYTHM OF FAITH
Praying every day will help us develop a “rhythm of faith” that gains strength with each prayer and fights off our propensity to be pessimistic. When a crisis does hit, we can tap into that rhythm and the dialog we have established with God.
So what are the barriers to achieving that goal? There isn’t enough room here to list them all, but I’ll toss a few your way to make the point. Here are some of the most powerful barriers to prayer that we must watch out for:
That’s the short list. You can add anything else that gets in the way of connecting with God. Can you think of any barriers to prayer in your life? Go ahead, give it a shot right now.
IT’S ALL ABOUT EXPECTATIONS
One of the best ways to fight through these prayer barriers is to expect God to be there for you no matter what. Living with expectancy should drive our attitude in prayer specifically and toward life in general. If we don’t pray expectantly that God will turn our life in a new and joyous direction, how can he?
“I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.” Philippians 1:20
Another barrier-buster is to write down the thoughts and direction you get from your daily time with God. Over the past 25 years, I have regularly recorded my sometimes-halting steps toward spiritual growth and maturity in a now three-foot-high stack of journals. I’m convinced that journaling has played a big part in my spiritual growth. Try it!
I’ll end by changing the headline from “All we can do now is pray” to “What we must do every day is pray.”