The Work Of Life
“. . . it will be done for him.” Mark 11:24
Prayer is the easiest part of the spiritual life to fake. We can pretend to pray, use the words of prayer, practice the forms of prayer, use the postures of prayer and never pray. Piecing together a prayer life out of scraps of clichés – “I’ll pray for you,” or “Let me pray about that,” are only ways of saying “I will never think of it again.” There is a life of prayer that is more substantial and meaningful.
Prayer is the spring-board into the interior of the spiritual life; it brings us into friendship with the Father. Real prayer is life-altering and life-changing. Fervent, passionate, believing prayer is no little moment tacked onto the beginning or ending of bible studies and meals. Prayer is the work of life. All of God’s work is answers to prayers.
In our attempts to pray, it’s easy to feel defeated because we’ve been taught that everything in the world is already predetermined and things cannot be changed. So why bother praying if the outcome is already determined? This is a historical idea, but not a biblical truth. No one in scripture felt that way. They prayed as if their prayers mattered. Paul and all the others saw themselves as co-laborers with God.
Our prayers make a difference. This is great liberating news, but it also places tremendous responsibility on us. Through prayer, we are working with God to bring about real change. We are assigned to change the world one prayer at a time. Our prayers are to be conformed to the way Jesus prayed, rather than conforming our words to our small, limited view of prayer.
One of the most shocking aspects of Jesus’ prayers for others is He never used the phrase “if it be your will.” Jesus’ prayers were so assured, so confident, that they often carried a direct command “Be taken up and cast into the sea.” There are mountains that can be moved by prayer. Mountains of evil, depression, distress and all other things which work to block the advance of His kingdom. Too often, we have faith which keeps the mountains from moving.
Have you placed an unbiblical limitation on your prayer life?