The Spirit Discipline

JOHN 16:17–24

Prayer is speaking to God. Through Jesus anybody who wants to can do it. But that’s the rub. Do we want to? I found that I’ve been putting off prayer, serious prayer, for a couple of weeks now. Just yesterday the pain got so great that I reached up and out in a cry for help. Why did I wait so long to pray? Why was I avoiding my Lord with whom I spend such intimate times and who has frequently and eagerly answered my requests?

Why is prayer difficult? In prayer we face God and ourselves at the same time. It’s an encounter in which a holy God meets a fallen person. That meeting is full of possibilities and naked exposure. It can be full of awe or it can feel aweful. In prayer I say to the Creator of the universe that I am not sufficient to run reality. I am not even sufficient to run my life. I need help. That’s not easy for us humans who aspire to control to admit. Disappointment is another reason we avoid prayer. What if God hears me and says no? I fear that those things which were most important to me, that I could hardly bear to say to another, could be set aside by the Creator. That would be crushing.

We do risk prayer because with the risk of pain comes privileges and his joy. In today’s verses you will discover how important you are. In Jesus’ name, God thinks what you have to say is worth listening to.


Consider your patterns of prayer. Is it easier to ask for things or to praise? Are there times in your life of prayer and then times of avoidance as well? Ask God to show you some of the hidden dynamics of prayer. Listen for a while and then write down your impressions.

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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