Are you forcing prayer?
March 24, 2009
“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. … If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
--John 15:5, 7
Prayer is not the cause of abiding in Christ, it’s the result or effect of abiding in Christ. Or to put it another way, if we’re truly abiding in Christ, we won’t have to force prayer.
In today’s verse, Jesus tells us what the secret to growing and maturing as a Christian is. It’s pretty simple! Be a branch. That’s it! Be a branch. And because branches are connected to the vine, there’s a constant interchange between the two.
Now, I don’t know what kind of background you come from or what your impression of praying is, but if it helps, I would encourage you to just think about prayer as a conversation. A conversation of a friend with a friend.
And when your relationship with a friend is growing, you talk! You talk and you listen. And in healthy relationships, that conversation and interaction flows naturally.
As a pastor, I talk to a lot of people who openly share with me that praying is boring. But here’s the deal. When you and I are truly abiding in Christ, when we’re truly connected to him, when we’re sitting at his feet every day and soaking up the truth of his Word, spontaneous, interactive conversation with God will become a natural outflow!
So today, I want to just say, quit worrying about your prayer life and just start talking to God! Talk to him about everything. Your fears, your worries, your friends, your family, your kids, your job, your finances, your purchases.
Talk to him about everything! And don’t worry about using a lot of “thee’s” and “thou’s.” Talk to God from your heart. Tell him how you feel.
And then, once you’ve done some talking, stop and listen like you’d do in a conversation with your spouse or friend. Take the time to see what God is saying back to you in your heart. So often our conversations with God are so one-sided!
So take the time when you pray to really listen for the still, small voice of God speaking to your heart.
WHEN YOU AND I ARE TRULY ABIDING IN CHRIST, INTERACTIVE CONVERSATION WITH GOD WILL BECOME A NATURAL OUTFLOW.