Have you ever noticed that our prayer lives say a lot about what we really believe?
I think we would all say God exists and is good and all powerful and that He works in the tiniest details of our lives. But is it possible that our prayer life may actually evidence our unbelief? If you really think about it, belief in God goes beyond just a theological concept. Our belief in God is actually tied directly to our actions. It is by our actions that we can tell if we really believe. Think about it this way. In James 2:17 it says, “faith without works is a dead faith.” In other words, our faith is evidenced by what we do – for example, prayer.
Painful as it may be, I believe it’s important to ask ourselves some really hard questions. Do we sometimes act like God doesn’t exist when it comes to how we handle life’s situations…as if it’s all up to us? Do we really, I mean really, believe that God is sovereign over all things and that He has a plan and a purpose for us which includes the “small” things too? Do we think that our day to day problems somehow slip past Him or that He doesn’t really care about us? Our lack of faith is evidenced by what we do in difficult situations. The following questions about life situations can be very revealing:
When you find yourself having to pull over due to a car problem, what do you do first? Is it pray?
When a conversation you are having with your spouse starts to go south, what do you do? Do you pray?
When you’re running late and traffic comes to a standstill, what do you do? Is it pray?
When you’re rebuked by someone, what do you do? Do you pray before you speak?
I think we all know that the answers to these questions should be – to pray. But, is that what we actually do in those types of circumstances? Do we seek His help and guidance first or only as a last resort? A lack of prayer shows that we are really depending on ourselves, not on God.
So, have we been guilty of just trying to figure it out on our own? Have we been guilty of not giving God much thought but going first to “how can I fix this?” This lack of prayer again shows we are depending on ourselves. Maybe some of us do a little better in praying when we finally come to the point that we have no other options. Then we toss up the prayer. It’s almost like we are saying, “I really don’t believe that God is interested and involved in the details of my life.” That is unless we have run out of all other options. Then, as a last resort, we give God a shot.
Or maybe we’ve been guilty of not really believing God is there in the little details of our lives. We just go along in life making all those little decisions without giving Him even a thought.
No matter where you are in your faith journey at this moment, may I encourage you to ask God’s Spirit to help you continue to grow in your awareness of God’s presence and concern for the details of your life? May that awareness be evidenced in your prayer life.
To sum this all up in one short sentence, I’ll leave you with what the Apostle Paul says in Philippians 4:6:
“In EVERYTHING by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”