Prayer is the Christian’s vital breath, the Christian’s native air, his watchword at the gates of death; he enters heaven with prayer. ~ James Montgomery
My friend Ellie, from the North who works with CU’s has written a wonderful post on prayer and my heart really resonated with it. After being involved in CU for about 7 years which includes being a student and student worker, I have come across the same problem that Ellie points out:
“This morning I went along to the CU prayer meeting, a meeting that will be happening every day during Freshers’ week. The CU usually has over 100 members, but there were only 15 people there this morning. Why? When I was a student the CU was about 200 people, but the weekly prayer meeting was still only about 15 people. What’s going on?”
What indeed is going on? The same happens all across the CU’s… It would be quite easy for me to point the finger, but then surely a giant plank would be stuck in my eye. Instead Ellie hits the note quite well:
“My assumption is that they probably don’t really think that prayer is that important, and the reason that I think that, is that I think that’s basically my problem too.
Intellectually I know that prayer is good, but I often find it hard to get excited about, and tend to assume that my time would be better spent ‘doing stuff’.”
That is my problem too. I don’t think prayer is that important and I am pretty convinced I can do something much better and faster if I didn’t have to spend time praying about it. The problem starts with my heart and it is really down to how I view God. Do I really think God can answer my prayers? Does he even listen or care? Do I really believe I can do it better?
I came to the Father like an arrogant self-sufficient adult instead of a reliant child calling on her Father for all her needs. If I really believe that prayer isn’t important then I don’t know God at all, I don’t really understand the Father’s heart and his love for his Son’s bride. My heart desperately needs to be warmed to Christ and to be reminded that we have a God that has a tender heart who listens to his children. Just reading Exodus reminds me of this:
Then the Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings…” (Exodus 3:7)
There is such a joy in prayer, when you gaze at Christ and realise that you can’t do anything without him and there is joy in knowing that the Father hears us and delights in hearing us. My heart needs to be warmed to this…
And so Ellie conclude and I echo an amen.
“I’ve been won over (again) by the fact that prayer is vital and wonderful, and one of my big prayers over the next year is going to be that we might see CU students get really excited about praying for their friends and classmates and neighbours.”