By Christa Cottam
“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” Luke 18:1
I suffer from doubtful prayer. Phew—there, I said it!
What does that mean? That while I know there is no other God above our God, that He has unfailing love for me, that He delights in me—His creation, and that He hears whatever I ask according to His will, I still doubt sometimes that my prayers will make any difference.
Can you relate? Are there times when finish praying and think: “Why did I do that? My prayer isn’t going to change anything or make a difference.” Maybe you feel like you’re just talking to the wind—that your prayers are falling on deaf ears.
Our culture encourages doubt, skepticism, obsessive vetting, and withholding trust as we navigate the ups, downs, and sometimes crooked ways of life. There’s definite legitimacy to this idea of self-protection—it could even be called common sense, as we do live in a very broken world.
However, I’ve learned that the way our world works is NOT the way God works (can I get an “Amen”?!) and there is no place for doubt, skepticism, or distrust with God. Period.
The truth is that prayer is powerful—a gift God has given us to communicate with Him, and the most effective weapon we have to fight the darkness that so desperately longs to snuff out God’s light.
For me, the antidote to doubtful prayer is found in this:
Confessing my faithlessness and asking for God's forgiveness.
Being grateful for the ways God has blessed, and continues to bless me every day.
Recalling times in the pastwhen God has answered my prayers and shown Himself faithful.
Rebukingthe doubt I feel rather than indulging it.
Immersing myself in the truth of Scripture.
Since God delights in every detail of our lives (Psalm 37:23), we know that no prayer is ever too small. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to pray without ceasing. And in today’s verse, Jesus taught the disciples the power of persistent prayer.
Has doubt crept into your prayer life? Refuse to entertain that toxic way of thinking any longer and rededicate yourself to praying God’s way.
Christa Cottamis a spunky woman with a fire in her belly to tell others about Jesus—how He brought her from being held down by a past filled with shame, guilt and unforgiveness to embrace God’s love and ultimately find freedom to be the person He created her to be. She is passionate about encouraging women to go deeper in their relationship with God. Christa also uses her gifts in the arts and leadership to make kingdom impact at her church, serving as a worship leader and volunteering in women’s ministry.
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Originally published Saturday, 17 August 2019.