Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Remedy for Laziness: Prayer

I’ve been asking myself lately if I pray the way I should.
My pastor likes to refer to the Christian walk as a four-legged stool. On leg is worship, one is fellowship, one God’s word, and the last is prayer. At different times in my life I’ve definitely struggled with one more than the other. Lately it’s been a toss up between time in God’s word and prayer. I’m great about looking up a quick verse, saying a one-word prayer, and then running about my day. But do I really pause long enough to hear God’s voice? Am I getting everything out of my quiet time that I should? Today’s reading was from Joshua 16-18 and Luke 11:1-28. In Joshua we saw the continued division of the land among the Israelites. The tribe of Manasseh was grumbling because they didn’t have enough land, yet, as Joshua pointed out to them, if they got up the energy they could clear the forests and chase out the Canaanites (Joshua 17:14-18). It honestly looks like this tribe was a little lazy. They didn’t want to do the hard work of clearing the land, so they lived, squished in by their enemies.
I, too, can be lazy at times. I get stuck in a rut and don’t want to clear out the junk in my life, just like the tribe of Manasseh. Perhaps I’m afraid of the change involved. Perhaps I’m concerned that the task would be too hard for me to handle. In these moments I’m most definitely looking at myself, instead of looking to God for help. In those moments, I’m not really trusting God to survive.
I know that those are the times I need to turn to the word of God and pray. Those are the times I need to be immersed in his word. In Luke 11: 2-4, Jesus gives us a prayer we should say at all times:
“‘He said to them, ‘When you pray, say:
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.
And lead us not into temptation.”

This prayer reminds us of so many important things. First, that the name of God is holy. It is He we should always be looking towards.
Second, to pray continually for His kingdom to come. We live in an imperfect world, so it’s wonderful to think about eternity in heaven with Him.
Third, to pray for food on our table, each and every day. We should never forget that He provides for us each and everyday.
Forth, to pray for forgiveness for our sins. We may be Christians, but we still mess up each and everyday. It’s important to remember that it’s not by our own strength, but by the strength of God that we are saved. Also, this scripture is a good reminder that we are supposed to forgive others, which is not always easy, but necessary.
Fifth, to pray that we not be tempted. We are in a world filled with temptations, day in and day out. Being Christians doesn’t make us immune to this, thus it’s important that we pray for help to keep our focus on Him.
I know that if I focus on praying these things each and every day, my attitude would improve a lot and I would feel a lot more focused. What about you? What do you struggle with in your daily walk?

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