Weary of prayer
I love to pray! It certainly involves a commitment of time and effort; yet I usually feel refreshed afterward, knowing that the Lord has heard me and that I’ve placed the needs before Him.
Along the way, I’ve heard about that acronym A.C.T.S. (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication) but most of the time I think I get distracted and spell it as S.T.A.C. When that happens, I realize I’ve probably taken my eyes off the Lord and that I’m distracted by assuming a role in prayer that is different than what the Lord intends.
The Lord our God receives millions, if not billions, of prayers every day and He never grows weary of them or of the people who come to Him. He is pleased and even delighted that each person is recognizing their need by submitting a request to Him. Yet when my prayer list grows to 50 or 100 or more—almost all for other people, I frankly get weary of praying. When this happens, I really am trying to take over God’s work.
It is God’s privilege to offload the burdens of our prayers when we approach Him by faith. “But without faith, no one can please God. We must believe that God is real and rewards everyone who searches for Him.” (Hebrews 11:6 CEV)
When I choose to carry the burdens (when I am anxious or worry about things), the weight and load becomes too difficult. That’s what causes me to grow weary and sometimes to just stop praying at all…as in “I quit!” But God never designed me—or anyone else but Jesus—to carry the burdens. That’s His role.
I realize that it is always good to engage in a time of praise and adoration throughout my prayer times. I can express my thanksgiving to Him for what He is doing and will do when I come to Him. Thus, when I pray, my key roles are to both listen (it’s not hard, but it involves a commitment to do it) and then to speak. While listening to the Holy Spirit’s prompting and guidance, I learn how I should pray in a way that aligns with God’s will for that specific need or person. God may still answer “Yes” or “No” or “Wait,” but He will answer in His time.
And, oh yes, about that confession thing. You’ll note it just might get left off the list when I spell STAC. Sometimes it is not pleasant to admit (that’s a “nicer” word that confess) that I have erred or to listen for God to reveal to me the things that I need to concede to be sins. But God is good to help me pray through that time of confession and to remind me of His love and forgiveness in Jesus.
As for the quantity of needs, I must turn over my burden for the volume of needs and then rest in the assurance that He is carrying the burden for them all. (Okay, I repeatedly have to do this.) Then I can simply join Him in seeking His will for each person and need, adoring Him for Who He is, and that He rewards those who seek Him. Isn’t it special that God knows how to help us to pray, to carry our burdens, to forgive our sins, and to help us exercise our faith while we pray? Yes, indeed.
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Signs of hope in South Sudan - Nov 19 2013
Jim Ramsay, vice president for mission ministries, recently visited The Mission Society field in South Sudan. Here he talks with Mission Network News about the fight against polio and malaria and what Christians are doing to help the South Sudanese gain better healthcare.