We Don't Pray Enough
We don’t pray enough. When I think about the realities that we’re facing in our world today and trying to imagine the church stepping into the gap for the oppressed and the marginalized; I can’t help but to feel overwhelmed and a little intimidated by the challenge we have in front of us. But, I’m becoming more and more convinced that we're focusing more on being overwhelmed and intimidated than we are focusing on the God that should cause us to feel prepared and confident. Not prepared and confident because of our skillset or our own competency, but because of the God we’re following and the victory we have.
And that brings me back to where we started; we don’t pray enough.
We spend a lot of time and energy and resources on trying to maximize our own abilities and opportunities and unfortunately, we forget to bring God into the equation.
In other words; I think we spend a lot more time talking about “wanting to see God show up in huge ways” in our lives or in our homes or in our churches or in our workplaces than we do actually asking God to show up in huge ways. Author and preacher Mark Batterson said it this way;
“Prayer is the difference between the best we can do and the best God can do.”
This quote has always challenged me so much. As someone who works for a church and gets paid to be a Christian, I’m convicted because even some of the work I’m trying to do for the church, I tend to leave God out and depend way too much on my abilities or my best ideas.
We don’t pray enough.
I want to read a verse out of Jeremiah that gives us such an overwhelmingly powerful view of God that I hope challenges you and encourages you to rely on Him more in your daily life.
The verse is Jeremiah 33:3. Just one verse. Before we read it, though, we need to understand just a little bit of where God’s people are in the context of this verse. Jeremiah was a prophet from God to His people. Jeremiah’s ministry fell in a particularly difficult time for Israel because they were being pressured by the Babylonian Empire and the leadership of Israel was becoming increasingly stubborn and more focused on power and wealth than they were on God’s plan for them. It’s hard for us to imagine that…
Anyway, a good amount of Jeremiah’s ministry was prophesying to the people and the leadership of Israel essentially with the message that they better correct their ways and re-establish their faith in God or else they were going to be overthrown and exiled from their home. If you don’t know this part of the Old Testament history very well, let me give you a spoiler alert…they didn’t correct their ways and re-establish their faith in God. So, they end up getting overthrown and exiled from their home and taken to Babylon as slaves.
But before that happens, Jeremiah is still pleading with the Israelites to trust God.
He’s recognizing that they have a similar problem to us; they don’t pray enough.
“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things that you do not know.”
Look at what’s at stake when we leave God out of it. We’re left to trying our best with our plans and our agendas and our ideas. We’re missing out on the great and unsearchable things that God has for us. We’re settling for a lesser version of marriage or parenting or church or being an employee or friendship or starting a business or getting a degree.
We’re settling for our best when we have God’s best available to us.
In a world and a day and age when we search everything because we think Google is the best resource we have, we’re completely sacrificing the chance to have access to unsearchable things that only God provides.
The church needs more. Your family needs more. Your workplace and your neighborhood and your city need more. Let’s adjust our sights and put our faith in God rather than the power or status or wealth or comfort that we think is more important. Let’s depend on God for our direction and our purpose and our agenda.
Let’s learn to pray more.