Monday, April 11, 2011

Can Prayer Come Alive? No Really...

Sometimes prayer is cool other times we have feel prayer is something we do or don't do but are somehow ashamed of. Prayer is a vital part of the way we live out our faith. Prayer is a very intimate talk with our creator. It is like those deep conversations we hold with the person who knows us the best. Those long talks we have with that person in our life from who knows the real us and from whom we cannot hide anything. Prayer can be a helpful tool to help us navigate through whatever life throws at us. But does prayer come alive? As one young man put it, “I believe in it and all that, but for some reason prayer has never really made any sense for me.” Indeed for all of us there have probably been times when prayer has dried up like a desert. There have been times of pain and trial when we wanted to reach out and touch the hand of God and could not feel His presence at all.

Prayer can come alive if we are willing to make a honest commitment. Prayer comes alive as we share our deepest needs and burdens with brothers and sisters in the faith. Can you imagine how it must have been for Peter, James and John when Jesus took them with Him into the deepest recesses of His pain? “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death…stay here and watch with me.”

Somehow, that strikes me to the core. If God’s own Son could acknowledge His own deep and troubled sorrow - His need for someone close to “watch” with Him - then how much more so do we need that kind of spiritual bonding with others? In those kinds of experiences, a bonding of the spirit takes place that happens in no other way. A fellowship of faith is built that is beyond anything the natural mind can conceive! Prayer comes alive when we are able to accept that which we cannot understand and trust God for that which we cannot know!

The final key to the whole understanding of living prayer is this one word of Jesus: “NEVERTHELESS”. In the garden Jesus prayed “If it is possible, let this cup pass from me…NEVERTHELESS…not my will but Thine be done.” The heart of our relationship with God is born of our surrender to Him of every claim…we finally acknowledge that we are not in control…it is His wisdom that we will lean on and not our own…His strength…His grace and love. “Oh, my Lord I do not understand this pain…but I will trust You for the fact that You can care for me…” Now Jesus could face Calvary. Calvary’s battle was won at Gethsemane. The burden He carried was settled there before He ever picked up the cross. He could face Calvary only in light of His total surrender to God in Gethsemane. Now we too can face life as we surrender the heart of whom and what we are to the One who won the battle for us in Gethsemane! It may not be natural at first but with a littel commitment prayer can come alive. We can come alive.  Nevertheless may prayer come alive for you!

See you in church, but until then may your prayer come alive, and take care of yourself and one another,
Peace & Grace,

No comments: