Lately, I have been thinking that life is not as easy as it should be. Maybe you can relate. Sin seems closer to me, and I’m succumbing to temptation (gluttony). Things in the news bother me more that it should. On the other hand, I am sharing the gospel quite a bit, but, somehow, things just aren’t clicking like they should. The Fruit of the Spirit simply isn’t there as I desire. As I ponder these things, I find that I have been neglecting to pray.
I have been mixing up my routine in an effort to start my day off right. I’m reading my bible before anything rather than in the evening. In fact, some days I am not able to write my blog because of it. I’ll need to make adjustments for that. However, I am neglecting to pray.
Why is that? How can a supposedly mature Christian neglect such an important element of his spiritual life? In fact, I just wrote about this, yet here I am once again.
I Got This!
I’m reminded about the guy who was late for an appointment only to find the parking lot full. He quickly prayed, “Lord, please help me find a parking spot!” Just then, a car pulled out right in front of the building. Just as quickly the guy said, “Never mind, Lord, I found one!”
It seems to me I’m the kind of guy who packs his bags for a big trip but leaves them in the house. I get all excited when I finally get things figured out yet completely forget a big step. What I don’t realize is just how quickly I run out of gas without prayer. To make it worse, I’m stubborn and refuse to do anything about it.
This is like working with nice, sharp tools. Things start out great, but before long the tool dulls and productivity starts to slow down. More and more effort is needed to keep pace. Soon, fatigue starts in. Risk of injury increases significantly. The wise and experienced craftsman knows that it is better to stop completely for a time to sharpen his tool than it is to continue on.
Working with dull tools is like neglecting to pray.
The Lord Is Patient And Kind!
How patient is and kind is the Lord with me! I work so hard with my dull tools. How foolish of me! I suppose it all starts off innocently enough, but sooner or later stubbornness and pride keep me from sharpening my tools. Yet God is patient and kind and allows me to realize the folly of my ways.
I’m going to leave with two passages that give me great reason to pray – often!
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. John 15:7-8
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:22-24
As John Owens once wrote, “If we do not abide by prayer, we will abide by temptation.”
Father, please forgive me for neglecting prayer. Certainly, it benefits me greatly, yet for some reason I find myself continually re-learning this lesson. Thank you for your patience and kindness with me. Father, I desire my heart to be changed. I want to pray with sincerity and depth. Teach me the need to pray daily, hourly, even at all times. Let me see with my own eyes and understand in my mind and know in my heart that apart from Jesus, I can do nothing. Guide me against forgetting to pray. Amen.
Copyright © 2021 Scott Powers