Can we just admit this right up front? Prayer is hard.
I don’t mean hard like helping a friend move furniture, or hard like sticking to a New Year’s diet. Nor is it equally difficult for everyone, or equally agonizing all the time. But it’s hard on the basis of it being a command from God (1 Thessalonians 5:17) that our own weak spirits struggle with and fail at all the time. It’s hard because the effort doesn’t always produce measurable results.
We like to say that prayer is the breath or heartbeat of the believer, and in one sense, that’s a useful description. What that most certainly does not mean, however, is that it’s an autonomous function or that it comes naturally. Your heart beats without conscious control; you breathe because you must – but prayer requires intent and input. Prayer is our breath and beat because it connects the natural with the supernatural, where real, actual, meaningful, eternal life is found.
We like to say that prayer is the breath or heartbeat of the believer, and in one sense, that’s a useful description. What that most certainly does not mean, however, is that it’s an autonomous function or that it comes naturally.
Paul says in Galatians 2:20, “The life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God.” This life-generating faith finds its most profound work in prayer. It may be work, but it’s worth the effort – life is on the line.
We observe frequently in our family that music is proof of the existence of God. The theory of evolution has its foundation in the mistaken need to explain us without a Creator. Even hearts that are in rebellion against God find joy and transcendence in music, but there is no evolutionary value to it whatsoever. It’s not survival of the fittest or a series of physical improvements leading to a better animal. Music can change you, improve you at the deepest level, but it doesn’t make improvements to your physical frame.
Prayer is like this, too, but taken to the next level. Not only is there no evolutionary imperative for prayer, but the very idea of it could not have risen out of the mind of man. Yet, here we are: creatures who know we’re called to prayer, drawn imperfectly but inexorably to the offer of conversation with the holy, sovereign, God-of-everything. How could we resist? And yet, we do.
Yet, here we are: creatures who know we’re called to prayer, drawn imperfectly but inexorably to the offer of conversation with the holy, sovereign, God-of-everything. How could we resist? And yet, we do.
Maybe one of the reasons Christians don’t pray as often or as enthusiastically to God as we could is the same reason that unbelievers don’t believe he exists: He has chosen to remain invisible and inaudible, at least to their two eyes and two ears. But God wants to make himself known to those he has redeemed! As His called and adopted children, those who trust Jesus as Savior and Lord do hear his voice in His word (John 10:27), and see Him with the Spirit-opened eyes of our hearts (Ephesians 1:18). Relying on the five physical senses as the exclusive source of truth ends where they end – in the physical realm.
But the Designer of those senses has more in mind for us – he has fine-tuned believing hearts to sense His presence, His heart of love for us, our eternal hope, and the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe (Ephesians 1: 18-19)! The power of prayer, then, is the pursuit of the One who is pursuing you – your prayers are part of the answer to your prayers!
Beloved of God, can we, the pastors and elders of Rockpoint Church, encourage you in the quest for a deeper prayer life? Over the next three weeks, we have the opportunity as a faith family to meet with Almighty God in his life on his terms as we experience the 21 Days of Breakthrough Prayer book together. If we’re willing to put in some of the effort to reach up, the Lover of our souls will reach down in holy delight and in new ways. God is able – and willing! – to do “exceedingly abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,” (Ephesians 3:20) -- the power of prayer worked out in the believing heart to the glory of God.
Here’s what you can do:
- Pick up a copy of the book (and the bookmark) – there’s no cost to you.
- Commit before God to read these short meditations and pray, as the Spirit leads, for 21 days.
- Join us in-person or on Zoom on Wednesday evenings if you’re able.
- Tell us your story! We would love to know how God has revealed Himself to you in this effort.
- Finally, enjoy your fellowship with the Triune God and make prayer a new habit and a new focus.
Questions? Comments? Email We’re praying for you!