Do you ever feel like your prayer doesn’t make it past the ceiling? Do you find it difficult to even kneel in prayer because of unworthy feelings or thoughts? Well, you’re not alone.
One of the most common reasons I hear for avoiding prayer is “I don’t know what to say, or how to talk to the Lord” or “I’m not as good at it as others I hear.” Please understand that’s exactly how the enemy wants you to feel. If he can make you feel inadequate, then he’s won! If he can keep you from using the authority given by Jesus Christ through his death on the cross and resurrection power, then he’s got us right where he wants us!
The first thing we can do to combat these feelings is to make prayer a daily habit. It becomes more difficult for inferior thoughts to creep in when we are actively practicing a healthy prayer life. When Jesus taught the disciples how to pray in Matthew 6:7-13, he said in verse 11 “Give us this day our daily bread,” well… this lets us know we should pray every day!
The next thing we should do is claim our rights! We have every right to pray to the Father in heaven if we come through the Son, Jesus Christ. (Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6) Jesus willingly died to give us the right to come before the Father. This was the fulfillment of the law. Hebrews 4:16 says “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” This is why the enemy wants to fight you and make you feel inferior to enter into a time of prayer! He wants to keep you from obtaining the grace and mercy you desire.
The enemy doesn’t have to work at keeping you from receiving healing, forgiveness, wisdom, or direction in your life… He just needs to keep you from asking for it! Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:12 that “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” He goes on to instruct us to put on the whole armor of God, and closes with “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit” in verse 18. The Message (MSG) version puts it this way “Prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.”
Be encouraged today, and make time to pray. It shouldn’t be a burden, or viewed as just something else I have to do today… It is a privilege, and it is the place where we find victory! There is not a devil in hell that can stand against you when you take your place before the throne of God’s grace! There is a place for you. The cross made sure of that, and it will never run out of room. Let me close with a verse from William Walford’s hymn “Sweet Hour of Prayer”
Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
That calls me from a world of care,
And bids me at my Father’s throne
Make all my wants and wishes known.
In seasons of distress and grief,
My soul has often found relief
And oft escaped the tempter’s snare
Rev. Cathleen N. Cathcart is pastor of New Life Baptist Church.