(By Rachel Joyce)
Prayer life. Prayer list.
When you hear these words, what is your reaction? Guilt? Inadequacy? Joy? It can be so hard to stay focused and keep praying. There are so many needs all around us.
It’s not about perfect performance. It’s about a heart that clings tenaciously to our Lord and a love that will not give up. Satan so wants to make us quit, to figure that our prayers really don’t matter. We might as well give up. Satan wants to discourage and dishearten us from going on for God at all. He wants us to give up. He wants to steal our joy and keep us from praising our God, but the only ground he can take in our lives is the ground we give over to him. Victory is ours in Christ. No matter what the pain we may bear, no matter how hard the battle may be, we have Jesus and we have life. We have all we need to triumph. The valley we go through may be exceedingly dark and painful. There may be times that His strength is all we have. Thank God, we do have Him! His presence is what makes all the difference. His presence is our light and our salvation.
I was enjoying Isaiah 53:2 in the NLT. It says, “My Servant grew up in the LORD's presence.” I love that. Our Savior grew up with a continual conscious awareness of His Father’s presence. That’s what I want: to live fully aware of being with my Father, throughout the moments of my days. I think that’s what God wants for all of us. That’s one of the reasons He saved us, so we could be with Him and enjoy His presence forever (John 17:24).
And when we pray, we still ourselves before Him. We lift up our petitions in His holy presence as we acknowledge our helplessness and our need of Him. Then we rest our burdens on His capable shoulders and lean, in all our weariness, on Him. He is enough. He can take care of all those things that drive sleep from our bodies and peace from our hearts. He’s got this. And He’s got us. And all we need to do is cast all our worries on Him and trust Him. Yet it’s so hard to let go, to cease striving, to let grace carry us into the place of perfect rest.
Lord, help us to trust You with all that burdens our hearts. We want to lose ourselves in Your love and grace. Help us to pray because we cannot pray in our own strength. Help us to pray in faith. We believe, please help our unbelief and work in us Your glorious will. In Jesus’ name, Amen.