I am convicted we who are followers of Jesus are not spending enough time in prayer. We wring our hands about the state of the world and continued attacks on Christianity while neglecting to do the one thing we can do to change it all: pray. Too many of our prayers have become rote and boring. We pray before our meals, before shutting down at night, and perhaps even first thing in the morning.
But how many of those prayers are for other people, our country, our leaders, persecuted brothers and sisters, or for the lost around the globe? Our prayers are too selfish, too mechanical, and too safe. We need to open our hearts and pour out our cries before the Lord. Let us pray prayers that will move the heart of God rather than bring us more comfort and success.
For years, I would pray that God would break my heart with what breaks His. Now, I’ve begun paying that God would help me feel what He feels. If we are in tune with what God feels, we will better know how to pray. I don’t pretend to understand the smallest millionth of a fraction about the awesomeness of God. From spending time in His Word, though, I know some things He feels. For example, He loves us beyond all measure (Ephesians 3:16-20). He abhors evil, pride, selfishness, and neglecting the poor and widows (Proverbs 8:13; James 4:6; Philippians 2:3-4; Exodus 22:22-24). God feels jealousy when we worship anyone or anything other than Him (Exodus 20:4-6). If our feelings were better aligned with those of our King, we would pray powerful prayers that would move mountains instead of being stuck behind our tiny bumps in the road.
When we go to prayer, let us pray in anguish for the injustices in our world. We must be the voice for the voiceless. Where there is war, let us pray for peace. Where there is hurting, let us pray for healing. And where there is darkness, let us pray for the light of Jesus to flood that place. Let’s put an end to selfish prayers and expand our vision to see what God sees. When we look at the world through the eyes of our Savior, we will pray in ways we never have before. If followers of Jesus would fall on their face before the holy God each day, praying for His will to be done on earth, and interceding on behalf of all the hurting, we could turn this world upside down.
Unless and until we renew our commitment to being a people who pray earnest prayers, our world will continue to spiral out of control. The disciples of Jesus must stand in the gap and intercede on behalf of a broken and dying race of humans. Let us pray for Jesus’s swift return and His mercy, peace, and healing until He comes. Prayer is not just all we can do when we’ve exhausted every other plan. It is the plan. Ask God to help you feel what He feels and to see what He sees. Then make a renewed commitment to pray with great fervor and urgency. The world is getting darker. Time is running out. Let us pray.