Are We Doing It Wrong?

Chris Jones by Chris Jones

If there’s really power in prayer, why is it too often neglected? If there’s a promise that “prayer…has great power and produces wonderful results” (James 5:16), what keeps us from tapping into it? Has something changed about God’s promises? Are we somehow not eligible for those benefits? Have we developed a sense of futility with it all? Or, is it possible that we’re just not doing it correctly?

Paul gives us direct advice concerning our approach to prayer. In Colossians 4:2, he says, “Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart”.

Devote yourself to prayer.

You’re probably familiar with Paul urging the Thessalonians to “pray without ceasing“. Paul’s not suggesting we literally live on our knees. Rather, he’s encouraging us to stay in constant communion with the Father. Don’t miss the meaning of this beautiful word, “communion”. One dictionary defines it as “the sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially when the exchange is on a mental or spiritual level”. Don’t just come to God when your back is against the wall. Take full advantage of the direct access you have to Him, in good times and bad.

Pray with an alert mind.

Can anyone successfully argue that God doesn’t deserve our full attention? Effective prayer requires engagement, free from all distractions. Find moments in your day, when you can silence everything around you, and fully engage with God. There just isn’t a substitute for spending quality time in His presence, fully aware of the privilege to have deep, intimate connection with the Father.

Pray with a thankful heart.

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation. (Psalm 100)”

I think it would be an error to believe a thankful heart “primes the pump”, somehow ingratiating us to God. Instead, a thankful heart breeds a humble spirit. Hopefully, we haven’t flipped the script, supposing God to be at our bidding, a servant to respond to our demands. He cares greatly for us, and will not refuse a broken and repentant heart (Psalm 51). Make your request known to God, understanding that He has already given us His greatest gift, in His Son, Jesus Christ.

If there’s a missing link in the story of our faith, I believe it’s the absence of the power and authority in which we should live as followers of Jesus Christ. Develop a habit of devoted, alert and thankful prayer. It’s the key to God’s unlimited provision, and will produce evidence the world cannot refuse.


Posted on December 4, 2014, in Chris Jones, Christianity and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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