When Prayer Is Hard Work – Part 2
Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8
We all want what successful people have; we’re just not willing to pay the price they paid to get it. When you see someone with sculpted abs and a well-toned body, they probably spend time sweating in a gym. There’s a reason Paul talks about ‘laboring…in prayers’ (Colossians 4:12). When you pray, you must be passionate, persistent and positive, expecting good things from God. You’ve got to put your heart into it and believe God will do what He promised. It’s not easy to fight off distractions and focus on Him. Don’t expect your fleshly nature to co-operate; it comes to the place of prayer kicking and screaming. And don’t expect your intellect to cheer you on; your self-sufficient nature will always choose prayer as a last resort. But God will urge you, and draw you into His presence. ‘If you draw near to Me, I will draw near to you.’ An unknown poet wrote: ‘I got up early one morning, and rushed right into the day. I had so much to accomplish, I didn’t have time to pray. Troubles tumbled about me, and heavier came each task; “Why doesn’t God help me?” I wondered. He answered, “You didn’t ask.”…I woke up early this morning, and paused before entering the day. I had so much to accomplish that I had to take time to pray.’ Many problems can be resolved, or avoided altogether, when you take time to pray and include God in every part of your day.
‘Oh what peace we often forfeit; oh what needless pain we bear; All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer’ (Joseph M. Scriven: 1855).