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We Struggle To Pray Because It Feels Like A Waste Of Time

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By: Chris Martin

One of the authors I coach has a book coming out in September, and we are in the process of ramping up some strategy in anticipation of the book launch. As much as I love serving authors as they serve their readers, the fact is that success is often measured by numbers more than it is measured by how much everyone feels helped.

I can serve authors so well they promise never to publish with another company, but when it comes down to it, blog stats and other metrics matter. How much everyone likes each other doesn’t necessarily measure success.

This is difficult for me.

I am most comfortable when success is measured by how well people are served rather than by how many people are served. In short, I focus on quality over quantity almost to a fault—because metrics and stats do matter, especially when you’re running a business.

Good feelings don’t pay salaries and bills, unfortunately.

Because of this battle with metrics and measures, prayer can feel like a burden. This is a problem.

Why Does Prayer Feel Like a Waste of Time?

Prayer feels like a lack of action, sometimes.

When I am forming strategies and planning meetings to help with a book launch, I think to stop and pray, but it feels like a burden.

Why?

Praying feels like a burden when you’re trying to accomplish a task, like meeting a sales number or a certain number of page views, because praying for God to help meet those needs feels petty and self-centered.

I sometimes think, “Why should I stop to pray for God to help with this project instead of doing more to help the project myself?”

Somehow, in my sin, I think that God doesn’t have any interest in helping with this project.

He has too many sick people to heal and travels upon which he must show mercy—he doesn’t have time for my work project.

This is a lie that weasels itself into my head, and yours too, at times, I’m sure.

The work we do on a daily basis, whether at a construction site or in a cubicle, matters to God. Our work is not divorced from his will and how he is to bring about his plans.

We miss out on engaging with the God of the universe because we think our plans and projects aren’t important enough for his attention, or because we busy ourselves to the point of sinful God-neglect.

Three Simple Prayers to Pray for Your Work

We need to stop and pray for our work. Don’t know how or what to pray? Here’s a start:

1. Give me wisdom.

In the spring of my freshman year of college, I was reading about Solomon and how the Lord answered his prayers for wisdom. I said, “If Solomon did this and the Lord listened, maybe he’ll listen to me,” and he did. God grants wisdom when you ask for it. Ask the Lord for understanding, and trust the Lord to give it to you.

2. Keep me humble.

Humility is incredibly difficult to maintain for anyone, but it becomes even more difficult when the Lord answers your prayers for wisdom. When the Lord gives you wisdom, you will be tempted to glory in yourself rather than God. Resist this temptation, and pray that the Lord would remind you of who you are in light of who he is.

3. Make me grateful.

Praise God for all he has done for you, and ask him to keep your heart thankful, protecting it from becoming entitled. You didn’t earn anything you have. The only way you can enjoy the blessings of wisdom, humility, health, or other such blessings is because of the grace God has shown you in Christ. So, as you pray, praise God for what he has done, and ask him to remind you to praise him when you’re tempted to praise yourself.

Posted by Chris Martin with
in Prayer

Pray With Us

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By: Joel Polk

This past Sunday was very special for our church family. In both services, we gathered in groups to pray for how we believe God is leading us. We focused on five things that we are asking God for as a church:

1) To Be Sacrificially Diverse: Revelation 7:9-10
2) To Intentionally Multiply: Matthew 28:18-20
3) To Be Involved In Doing Justice: Micah 6:8
4) To Be Theologically Healthy: 1 Timothy 4:16
5) Spirit-Filled Revival: Ephesians 5:15-21

We want you to continue to pray with us over the coming weeks and months for these things. Please use these prayer points and the accompanying Scripture to focus your time with God.

1) Sacrificially Diverse

After this, I looked, and there was a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language, which no one could number, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes with palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice:

Salvation belongs to our God,
who is seated on the throne,
and to the Lamb!

Revelation 7:9-10

Prayer Points

1) Help us see racial prejudice in ourselves and repent.

2) Help us see racial injustice in our city and act.

3) Prepare us to sacrifice to make our church diverse and unified in Christ.

2) Intentionally Multiply

18 Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:18-20

Prayer Points

1) Help me make disciples in my neighborhood and friend-group.

2) Help me make disciples in my workplace, campus, and classroom.

3) Help me make disciples in my church.

3) Doing Justice

Mankind, he has told each of you what is good
and what it is the Lord requires of you:
to act justly,
to love faithfulness,
and to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8

Prayer Points

1) Open our eyes to see injustice in our city and our hearts to care about it.

2) Show us what more we can do to help current justice efforts in our city: Bradley Academy, Journey Home, Portico, Greenhouse Ministries, etc.

3) Give us a clear direction and faith to serve the marginalized.

4) Theologically Healthy

Pay close attention to your life and your teaching; persevere in these things, for in doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers.

1 Timothy 4:16

Prayer Points

1) Help us repent of our indifference toward your Scripture.

2) Make us unafraid to read the Scripture, ask questions, and engage our doubts.

3) Use this church, our community groups, our elders, and each other to help us believe right things about you, God.

5) Spirit-Filled Revival

15 Pay careful attention, then, to how you live—not as unwise people but as wise— 16 making the most of the time, because the days are evil. 17 So don’t be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 And don’t get drunk with wine, which leads to reckless living, but be filled by the Spirit: 19 speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music with your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of Christ.

Ephesians 5:15-21

Prayer Points

1) Will you show us how we are quenching your Spirit with our sin and move us to repent?

2) Will you make us sensitive to your Spirit?

3) Will you bring Spirit-filled revival in our church and our city?

Posted by Joel Polk with

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