The Problem with Prayer
Yes, there is a problem with prayer.
Let´s face it. Prayer does not come naturally. It is hard to talk with God when you can´t see Him or hear His audible voice. In some ways a conversation with God is very similar to other conversations we have in life especially with the people closest to us but it is also very different.
For many people, prayer is a burden, it is a discipline that most are uninspired to pursue. If prayer is the most accurate indicator of our spiritual walk, as many godly leaders claim, then it most often inspires guilt rather than motivation.
We hear of the warriors of faith, desert warriors all of them, and how they broke through to lives and ministries rooted in prayer and filled with spiritual power. But, we believe that it is only for the chosen few, the leaders, the heroes of faith and we are left behind in the dust of defeat.
If the truth be told, we know that there is more to this prayer life than we are ready to admit. We know that the blessings of the abundant life are meant for all believers. We know that some are gifted intercessors but that we are all called to a life of prayer.
In our hearts we know that others have broken through because they were willing to pay a price, they were willing to make sacrifices. Just like an athelete or a musician that enjoys the fruit of their labors, we know that they were willing to pay a price for their success.
God is no different. Although we all have life in Christ, the abundant life with all of its joy and reward and success is a result of becoming a Desert Warrior.
That doesn´t surprise us and it does help us to frame the right question in the right way. The real question is why am I not inspired to reach for the abundant life that God wants so much to give me? Why am I satisfied with the cycle of guilt and shame and the hardening of my heart to the call of God to converse with Him? Why do I not hunger and thirst after God as a deer pants for water brooks?
These are the questions that start us on the path of a Desert Warrior. These are the questions that lead to confession, to a right view, a real view of our present walk with God.
The power of confession is the honest, transparent declaration of our real feelings, values and actions as seen in the light of the Word of God. With confession comes the power of the cross.
The way of the Desert Warrior is the way of the Cross and the application of the Cross to the sin and shortcomings of our lives. The way of the Cross is through confession, repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation.
Learning the power of the Cross in your life is the first step on the pat of the Desert Warrior. From there we become an apprentice to Christ in the context of the Desert to learn the ways of God and how to converse with Him, abide in Him and lead His people through the Desert into the rest of His Promised Land.
Join me on this journey and together let us explore the Ways of a Desert Warrior and breakthrough to the abundant life.
When we see a clear answer to prayer, we are filled with hope and excitement. Why? When God is real and we know He loves us, our lives change. Things happen.
Part of the problem with prayer is that God simply can´t be counted on to answer our prayers. For every person that claims an answer to prayer, five others are left wanting. Children go hungry, marriages fall apart, earthquakes destroy lives and evil still seems to be in control.
I mean, if we are going to be real about this issue, let´s lay it all out on the table. As much as I love God and I do believe He answers prayer, the truth is that many times He simply stays quietly in the background like a cosmic observer watching to see what happens next. We know He cares. We know He respects free will and we know that miracles do happen on occasion.
We know that we need to pray in faith but there generally seems to be little correlation between our praying and God´s intervention.
Somehow we suspect that God has another agenda or that He is acting on a different timetable or that He has other purposes that we aren´t privy to (or are we?).
Yes, that´s it.
God is up to something but it´s as if we aren´t in tune with Him, we aren´t in step with His plan. Maybe a lot of our prayers go unanswered because they are about our ideas of what should be happening, our agenda, our purposes and not His. Perhaps a big part of being a Desert Warrior is getting our lives in sync with Him rather than expecting Him to serve our interests.
After all, we are supposed to serve Him. He is the leader, we are His disciples, His followers. I wonder what God is up to?
Maybe that is the key to the abundant life and power in prayer. At least it is a place to start, a path to follow that leads deeper into the Desert, further away from the safety of our past assumptions and beliefs.
Where will this path lead us as we follow the pillar of fire into a desert where we can only survive by the grace of God.
There is fear and trembling here, of course, because God may take us where we do not want to go, He may ask us to do things we may not want to do but most of all, He may strip us bare of all the trappings of our life that we cling to so desperately. He will teach us to depend only on Him for the very real, practical needs of everyday life.
This is no mere spiritual exercise, it could upset the whole applecart of our lives. Do we really want to take this journey into the desert without knowing the cost but only the reward?
To be honest, the answer is usually yes and no.
Let´s take a look at some of the reasons why becoming a Desert Warrior may not be the obvious career path for many of us. After all, there´s a lot at stake.
Prayers of the Desert Warrior by Bert A. Amsing
Copyright 2012 by vanKregten Publishers. All rights reserved.