I have to admit, I get weary in well doing sometimes. When I hear of prayer meetings, sometimes I am guilty of thinking of the event as just one more to add to my collection of events to attend. I know mentally, that God wants us to pray, and I believe God answers prayers. So, what is my problem?
Many years ago, I had encounters with God and my life was severely affected. I spent a lot of time in prayer and enjoyed talking to God. I also noticed older Christians seemed to have an attitude about prayer that seemed to be saying something like, 'Been there. Done that'. We attended prayer meetings because we were supposed to. It is the right thing for a Christian to do. But is something missing?
One thing that happened to me, I believe, is that as life went on, I got more and more busy. I had children and then homeschooled them. I tried cooking from scratch and organic gardening. I was so busy and had so many appointments that it became hard to find time to pray, although I always did. It became more like a chore than a pleasure though.
In the parable of the sower, the seeds that came up and were choked by the cares of the world (everyday life, for me) came up and choked out anything else I wanted or planned to do. Everything was done out of discipline. I read my Bible faithfully and prayed every day, even if it were the same prayer compacted into a shorter period of time.
I began to pray more seriously, when issues came up in our home that had to be dealt with. As time went on, I began to pray for myself more than anyone else because I needed God's help the most. In the olden days, I used to pray specific things for other people, but I never prayed them for myself. Now, I do. I'm the one that needs to be changed first, then I can watch others being changed.
Time is still tight, but I have more reasons for praying than I did before, or at least reasons that I am aware of. The devil doesn't want me to pray. It became obvious when I became glued to Facebook and the Internet. As soon as I would get off, the devil would tempt me by giving me more reasons to be on Facebook, and sadly, I followed those for a while. But then, especially on days when I would be fasting, I realized that all the time set aside for praying was being taken up by my reading Facebook. So, now I have one more reason to spend time praying.
I think many of us really don't see a need to pray, and here's why; We know God is in control, we know God is all-powerful, we know God knows everything, and we know that He is working all things for the good of those who love Him. If we take that at face value, we might not see any reason to pray. And we might also think of praying as legalism. Or, we might pray out of duty, because we know we should pray.
All of those reasons for our praying out of duty or legalism, are due to a lack of understanding the Gospel. When we really do understand who God is, and we see our need for Him, we will pray. But if we are self-sufficient or legalistic, we might pray, but it is with wrong motives. Also, if we don't understand the Gospel, we could be praying to God, as if He were an idol. We could be praying to Him so we can get good things, and not experience bad things.
I think we need to have the mind of God, and we do this by spending time with Him. When we have the mind of God, we will see the things we need to be praying for. We also will be in awe of who God is and will worship Him and want to make His name known. That is not legalism either. That is responding to God out of a heart of love and obedience.
The devil doesn't want us to know what can happen when we pray. He wants us to live defeated lives that don't bring glory to God. But God does respond to our prayers. Praying is one of the best means to get to know God better. It is a response of worship to God from our hearts.
Next time you are tempted to not pray, ask yourself why. Is it unbelief or is it a misunderstanding of being legalistic? Is it a wrong understanding of thinking that God will just do everything and that we can just sit back and watch? Everyone who encounters the true and living God is changed. Maybe its time to wait on God and meet Him again.