Prayer: The Lifeline of a Brave Christian
Today’s quick read is an great encouragement. It is a guest post by Shay Robbins, one of our Branson church teachers who just released the book, Dangerous Christian: A Brave Heart for a Broken World. He’s offering several great word pictures to help us overcome prayerlessness and soar with our God.
“If you want to expand your soul, then learn to pray,” my hero Leonard Ravenhill encourages us. He goes on:
How do you learn to pray? Well, how do you learn to swim? Do you sit in a chair with your feet up drinking Coke learning to swim? No, you get down and you struggle. That’s how you learn to pray. Prayer is our strength; prayer generates strength; it generates vision; it generates power; and the devil will drive you away from the prayer closet more than anything.
Prayer is not about putting our money in a heavenly vending machine to get what we want. It’s about struggling. Pushing through our doubts and fears and experiencing them vanish behind us as we swim forward in supernatural strength.
Prayer is our life source — it enables us to tap into the true reality of who God is and who we are. Trying to live without prayer is as ludicrous as ripping the IV out of your arm, jerking the ventilator tube from your mouth, and telling God, “I got this” as you take off down the hall of the hospital. You won’t get far.
“I am the vine; you are the branches,” Jesus tells us. “If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (Jn. 15:5).
Nothing. Nada. Zilch.
Jesus himself exemplified this pursuit. Time and again, Jesus slipped away to pray. Why did God in the flesh need to pray? Why did he choose to pray? Perhaps Jesus denied his divine power in order to model divine dependence for us: “[T]he Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does…I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me” (John 5:19, 6:38). Jesus received his marching orders from God the Father in prayer. If the Son of God needed to seek the Father in prayer, how much more so do you and I?
Such dependence makes us dangerous. Satan does everything in his power to shrink God in our minds and inflate ourselves — just the opposite of what John the Baptist said: “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). To the extent Satan can minimize prayer and fill our minds with doubts about God, he cripples us spiritually, cunningly whispering the lie that we can do it on our own strength.
There are many ups and downs in the journey of faith. Sometimes, pride rears its ugly head and my passion for prayer wanes, but I long for my soul to expand to experience more of God. The only way to learn to pray is to pray. And so I pray. Even, and perhaps especially, when I don’t feel like it. This is the kind of perseverance and pursuit that sets the enemy on his heels. He knows that, through Jesus, we have divine power to burn his empire to the ground.
Do we know — really know that? Do we walk in that?
Imagine the exponential effect of our accomplishments if they were multiplied through the power of prayer. Jesus says it plainly, through his brother James, “You do not have because you do not ask” (James. 4:2). Our power is not in the words we utter. On the contrary, our prayers are only as powerful and transformative as the one we’re praying to.
Shay Robbins is a follower of Jesus Christ. He is a Director at Kanakuk Kamps, a Christian sports camp in southern Missouri. Shay is also a member of the teaching team at Woodland Hills Family Church.
About Jennifer O. White
I'm a simple wife who has discovered God's amazing gift of prayer. Here at Prayerfully Speaking I share my journey of unwrapping this gift. God invites us to ask Him, but His enemy works diligently to keep that from happening. I hope to offer you encouragement to believe God is ready to pour more into your life than you've ever imaged.