Sunday, January 6, 2013

Prayer -- Why Bother?

I am human—a fallen human being. I have to work; I get tired. I can only focus on one thing at a time. When at work, I must focus on work. That is what I am being paid for. I get off work, and go home to my family. Family requires time also. When I am tired, either I will forget either forget to pray or will not feel like praying. God understands—right?

Given time to contemplate upon the matter, I ask myself, “Do I neglect prayer because what I truly believe is: ‘What is the use? What is going to happen is going to happen; God is in control’.” Many times, prayer is neglected to presumptuousness. When all things are taken into consideration: Neglect of prayer is due to a lack of faith. Many times I treat God as if He is a far-away God—a very-far-off-God. It is meaningful to listen to the psalmist in Psalm 139: “LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou searchest out my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. Whither shall I from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in Sheol, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.”

God is a near God – a very-near-God. He is next to us to help us, guide us. My neglect of prayer speaks loudly to whether I truly believe this. I must keep in the foremost of my mind that my salvation is of great importance to God and everything goes to my salvation. This applies to every individual. The times I feel too tired to pray or just do not feel like praying are the times I really need to pray. These are times when I am prone to drift, when my salvation is not of utmost importance to me. My mind goes back just prior to the time Jesus went to His disciples, walking on the sea. “And straightway he constrained (urged irresistibly or powerfully; compelled; forced; restrained; confined; bound; imprisoned; necessitated) his disciples to enter into the boat, and to go before him unto the other side to Bethsaida, while he himself sendeth the multitude away; and, after he had taken leave of them, he departed into the mountain to pray.”

He knew the conditions into which He was sending, yet He did not go with them, but departed into the mountain to pray. I wonder, what did He pray about? Did He pray for Himself? I do not think so. What was important to Him? The redemption of mankind, including the salvation of His disciples. This trial was important for their salvation--and for ours. He rebuked them, “Ye of little faith.”

Many times when I pray, I pray for a good day at work, that I glorify God by words and deeds. I neglect to recall that the events that will confront me will be there because it is God’s will that I be confronted with them. They go to love of God and also to love of neighbor. My prayers in the morning need to go towards preparation to these events, praying the grace to confront them in faith. Prayers in the evening should be with thanksgiving if the trials were passed and with confession when I fail.

Everything goes towards salvation, loving God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength and loving our neighbor as ourselves. T.T.