Prayer Isn't Natural

Originally published Thursday, 05 December 2013.

My pastor said a very striking thing last night at a church prayer meeting.

Quoting from a series of short passages that he keeps in his prayer journal, my pastor proceeded to say that prayer simply does not come naturally for humans. That prayer goes against the grain of our flesh and therefore takes effort, dedication and perseverence.

I wanted to cry, "Amen!" right then and there.

Boy, have I felt the hardship of prayer. What about you? Some days are better than others. My prayers align more closely with Scripture. The Father seems nearer. I have a firmer grasp on what specific things to praise Him for and to pray about. Those are really encouraging days!

But then there are days when prayer is a fight to keep on keeping on. Truly, prayer on these occasions seems...unnatural. Why? Unfortunately, sin entering the world with Adam and Eve changed everything. The biggest change being our relationship with God. 

For those in Christ, this relationship has been restored (praise God!), and nothing keeps us from approaching His throne of grace with confidence. But the fact is, we are not in eternity yet--so our struggle against the flesh continues. 

What can you and I do? We can persevere. We can ask for the Spirit's help. We can pray from the Scriptures directly. We can read about how others have prayed. We can listen to the prayers of the saints in our churches and learn from them. 

We can choose to not give up on our praying. There is grace and love and strength for us in Christ. He will be our ever-present Help as we journey through this spiritual privilege of communion with the Father.

So let's pray!