I’ve shared this quote on my blog in the past; but, as there is no rule against posting something twice, I’m going to go ahead and…you guessed it!…post it again. I’ve found it to be a very helpful thought; plus, it brings to mind one of the things I’m hoping to say in this post.
“Much praying is not done because we do not plan to pray. We do not drift into spiritual life; we do not drift into disciplined prayer. We will not grow in prayer unless we plan to pray. That means we must self-consciously set aside time to do nothing but pray.
What we actually do reflects our highest priorities. That means we can proclaim our commitment to prayer until the cows come home, but unless we actually pray, our actions disown our words. ”
(D. A. Carson, “A Call to Spiritual Reformation”)
Recently, I had several conversations with people in our church, the topics either being prayer or something that prayer was closely tied into. I came away from both conversations encouraged–encouraged because I’d learned some things, encouraged because I’d been reminded of some important things, and encouraged because of the fellowship with other believers who took of their time to discuss things with me. It was good. I saw more clearly my need to seek God more through prayer in many and various aspects of my life.
But here’s the confession. I didn’t do much of anything about it.
I intended to spend more time in prayer. I knew I needed to. But I was busy with other things.
A few days (nights) later, and night owl that I am, I was up later than the rest of my family doing somthing…can’t remember what. But then I ‘happened’ (i.e. God providentially made me) to read a blog post about prayer.
It hit me very hard.
I suddenly knew that if I just continued on this summer keeping busy with everything I had to do, I’d never find myself spending more time in prayer. Just because I had good resolutions and did desire to pray, it wasn’t going to happen because I wasn’t placing much of a priority upon it.
And then God reminded me of this verse:
“…Apart from Me, you can do nothing”
How often do I truly live with my actions portraying to others that I believe the reality of these words of Christ? How often am I driven to my knees as I see my deep inadequacies for the tasks that the Lord has called me to do?
I do not want to spend my life only learning and conversing about prayer while not actually experiencing it. I do not want to spend my life hearing about people who knew God in very real ways. I do not want to know intellectually these things. I want to know God deeply and personally. I want to be changed by the living God.