Summary: We are stuck in a rote way of praying. This lesson will help you to see how the faith of a child and the persistent widow should teach us how to pray.
There is a great book out on prayer called “A Praying Life” by Paul Miller. One of Paul Miller’s statements in his book says
“”Learning to pray doesn’t offer you a less busy life, it offers you a less busy heart.”
A lot of times in prayer we think we need to come to God first in worship, then in asking for things for others then maybe things for ourselves. But Jesus never says that, we just need to come to Him dirty and in need. Jesus will change us since we cannot change ourselves. The key is we at least need to come to Him. As you would talk with a friend speak the same way to Jesus. Forget about semantics. Come just as you are and ask!
Luke 18:1-8 “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!’” And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” w toll to get information out of prisoners we could put them in a room with Chase for an hour.
We need to pray as a child would ask for something and as this persistent widow asks. When our son Chase asks for something he doesn’t give up. I don’t know if his Autism makes his asking more repetitious but when I say repetitious look out. If he wants to watch something on TV he will literally ask over 100 times in an hour. Why wouldn’t you give in!!!!! It can be maddening. Silence won’t work as he will just keep asking. Threatening him with his life won’t work as all he can focus on is what he wants. He could be our best hope for interrogating terrorists. He would have them asking for help within an hour.
Ahhhh focusing on what he wants. In some strange way we have made prayer out to be some hokey pokey and turn yourself around ritual. Because most of us have such a hard time with prayer we think we should act and talk a certain way. That is because we hear of all these stories of great men who get up at 2:30 am and pray for 3 hours before the day even starts. How can we live up to that? That’s not how prayer is supposed to be. Prayer is an HONEST conversation with what is going on in your life. If something needs to be changed in praying God will bring it to your attention. As Paul Miller says “Come to God Messy”.
Chase has this ritual where he has to look at every clock in the house at: 50 on the hour. It starts at 6:50, 7:50 till 8:50 at night. I once got tired at night when Julie was at a bible study and tried to get Chase to bed early. I changed the upstairs clock ahead to reflect 8:50 BUT I forgot to set all the other clocks in the house. When I saw the horror on Chases face when the clocks didn’t match it really convicted me that I tried to trick him.
I see that Chase has a ritual but that is Autism. I still love Chase. But I love it when he is also impulsive and asks me whatever is on his mind. Jesus knows if you are coming to Him with a ritual of prayer but He desires for you to come to him “Messy”. I would ask if you have the resources to purchase the book “A Praying life”. I think you this book will change how you not only view prayer but how you will now see and talk to God. It will change your life.
If you are stuck in a ritual, Jesus knows. But He also wants you to break free. Stop the madness of coming to God with pre conceived notions of how God is going to act or answer. He is God and we will never know. We don’t want to know. Start today by coming to God like the persistent widow but also come to God with hope and expectancy like a child. Then and only then will you have hope for your future and joy for your soul. Oh it’s 7:49 better go!