We come up with prayer list, prayer cards, prayer points, and many more creative ways to do better in our prayer life.
But what does it really mean to “do better” or “improve” in the area of connecting with God?
I appreciate the wisdom found in Paul E. Miller’s book on prayer – “A Praying Life.” Paul demonstrates his point about the source of pervasive cynicism as he crossed out the Shepherd and everything he does from Psalm 23 (picture above).
At the root of cynicism and critical spirit in the hearts of many people including Christians who claim to believe and trust in God is the self.
It’s all about me. What I want. What I want to do. My resolutions. My goals.
Are you restless, discontent, and disconnected?
And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
The conversation Moses has with God at Mount Sinai invites me to consider my prayer life. I realize that I am like the people of Israel impatient with God’s messenger. I build my own objects of adoration, affection and action items like the Israelites worshipped the Golden Calf.
And my prayer life looks a lot like Psalm 23 without the Good Shepherd and everything he does.
Prayer is hard not just because it’s hard to get up extra early or stay up late to say the prayers, write the list, or follow up with points, but it’s hard because I am stiff-necked, stubborn, and self-absorbed.
“Father, I am stiff-necked, stubborn, and self-absorbed. Send your Spirit to strip away everything that entangles, embitters, and engulfs my heart. If I have found favor in your Son, Jesus, received your mercy and grace in Him, please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight.”