Are We Being Counterproductive?
We as people—and especially as Christians in our day and age—are smart and resourceful. There are so many things that we can do. So, we’re filled with a sense of pride which instead of increasing the sense of ambition that we have, decreases the amount of ambition that we have.
While our ambitions may increase quantitatively—there are things we want to do, churches we want to plant, people that we want to see come into the doors of the church—all of our ambitions tend to revolve around things that we can do by ourselves, in our strength, in our own power, in our lifetime.
As we pray, we attach ourselves to God’s agenda.
Because of that, I think that we don’t pray because everything that we want to do, we can do ourselves if we work really hard. But, if we embrace this posture of praying together as a church, one thing we’re reminded of is that our ambition has to go far beyond our lifetime.
God’s Strength, Not Ours
As we pray, we attach ourselves to God’s agenda, and when we do that, we are reminded that God’s work always outlives God’s workers. And so, as we pray for things that extend far beyond our lifetimes, we are reminded that we aren’t going to be the ones that are in control of the goal that God wants to set, the things that he wants to do.
Our ambitions increase and our pride decreases as we realize that we can’t do the things that need to be done here in this world, but God can. What a wonderful gift for a church to come together to pray and ask for God to do and to be reminded that we’re only asking God to do the things that he, himself, wants to do. We don’t have to coerce him, we don’t have to twist his arm.
Prayer, whether it is confession, supplication, thanksgiving, or adoration, always involves a surrender, an embracing of God’s ever-present presence.
The Lord's Prayer—a simple prayer which Jesus taught his disciples—can also show us how to talk with God in prayer.
On May 3rd, across the country, countless will gather to come before the Lord for the National Day of Prayer.