I would say “Maybe it is just me” but after years spent working with men in churches I know I am not the only one who feels this way. You know the feeling; Everyone is getting together to pray and you are thinking, “I hope this doesn’t last long so we can actually get out and do something useful.” No? Just me? Riiiiight.
Prayer is something that to many people, particularly men, seems impractical, I would almost be as honest as to say a waste of time. I am not saying that it is a waste of time , of course, but I often have to fight to keep myself from thinking that way. It is a sign of my sinful arrogance and self reliance. Why should I bother God when I can take care of part of it or all of it myself. Perhaps I am not thinking big enough or perhaps I think to highly of myself.
I love the quote in this section from Martin Luther “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” I don’t act on it but I think it is sound. I have found that if I am to pray I must do it first, if I do not do it first thing I will not do it at all. I always have time for the things I put first, it is just unfortunate that I do not always look at prayer as something that actually needs to go first. I usually look at it as a formality but not as
There is a rumour amongst charismatic Christians that praying is only really worthwhile if the Holy Spirit leads you to pray (and by this they mean that you already feel like praying). Jesus was much more straightforward: he told the disciples that the spirit may be willing, but the flesh is weak (Matt. 26:41).
As a recovering Charismatic this really resonates with me. Prayer has always been one of the places I have struggled in my walk because I assumed, much like the quote says, that it will be a leading of the Spirit that will make it easier. But is appears more and more that it is only through actually doing that things become easier. It isn’t helped that in most of the Charismatic circles I have run in no one ever admits their faults. So, while they tell the stories of getting up to pray every morning at 4:00am they don’t tell you how much they hated it. This year my wife and I have been rising early to read out Bible and pray as a couple and it has become easier but I am still not satisfied.