You know the feeling…
When you’ve prayed day in and day out.
Night after night.
You’ve begged God to step in, to change something or someone, to fix the brokenness, to heal your loved one…
But the days keep passing.
And the silence seems to be growing louder and louder.
You see no healing, you see no change.
And you begin to grow tired.
Why pray if God’s not going to change anything?
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And then, the Holy Spirit whispers to you and reminds you of what prayer really is.
You see, as I sat down to write this, I was tired. I didn’t want to keep praying to God about things I really was beginning to think He would never respond to.
But as I stared at the computer screen trying to come up with something insightful and useful to share with you all, a thought occurred to me that I can only describe as the Holy Spirit whispering. And in a moment He simply whispered:
“We should never grow tired of talking to our loving Father.”
Here I was beat down in frustration because God wasn’t doing the things I wanted Him to when I wanted Him to do them.
And because of that, I didn’t want to talk to Him anymore.
Gosh, how foolish am I?
You see, the reason why most of us grow tired of praying isn’t because God doesn’t answer prayers, but because we have an inaccurate definition of what prayer truly is.
Prayer isn’t just something we use to tell God what we need.
God already knows what we need.
Prayer instead, is how we communicate with God. It’s how we pause to give Him thanks and open our hearts and minds to what He might have to say.
Prayer strengthens our relationship with our Father and our Creator.
In America, we tend to only associate prayer as something that is needed in times of tragedy or loss.
But as believers, only praying to our Father during those times is the real tragedy, and the real loss.
Prayer is less like asking a genie for whatever we want, and more like us coming to our Father or a wise good friend and begging them to show us what’s next, thanking them for our relationship, and talking to them simply because we love them.
When we grow tired of praying, chances are, it’s because we’ve decided that if we don’t get the answers we want, then we will not be satisfied.
That’s not what prayer is for.
We don’t find satisfaction in outcomes, we find satisfaction in our relationship with the only one who can truly fulfill us.
Instead, we ought to pray with open hearts and open hands trusting that God will care for us and has His best in store for us.
So when we pray for that difficult loved one or spouse, we don’t just pray expectantly for God to change their hearts, but we also pray that God would grow our affection for them and help us to love them even when it’s not easy.
When we pray for healing and fail to see results, we must remember that this world is not our home, and that ultimate healing only comes in the life after this one.
Or when we pray for God to take us out of this season of waiting and finally fulfill our dreams and desires, we also beg Him to show us what He has for us here and now because we know that He IS enough right now, tomorrow, and always.
We ought to never grow tired of praying because prayer ought to be the very thing that carries us through.
If prayer ever becomes about anything other than growing closer with our God, we’ve misused it.
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Prayer is not a quick fix. It’s a lifelong commitment.
It’s a conversation with our creator. It’s a reorientation of our hearts from our desires to His.
It ought not be tiring, but life giving.
Praying for myself and you all tonight. That we would never grow tired of praying and talking to our great God. That the enemy would not convince us that it’s not worth it. And that our eyes would be opened to the way God is working and answering our prayers every single day.
In Jesus’ name, Amen