I struggle to pray. The Bible tells us to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17), and yet I realize every now and then that I don’t remember the last time I prayed. Then I will try to fix it by making reminders to pray or organizing my prayers in a journal. But inevitably I drift back to the same inactive prayer life because I don’t struggle to pray due to disorganization or poor time-management. I struggle to pray because I don’t think I need anything from God; I think I am self-sufficient. Why would I pray if I think I can take care of all my physical and spiritual needs on my own? Especially when I don’t see immediate answers to prayers.
Of course, I am not self-sufficient – I am self-deluded. I take for granted that I wake up each morning, that the earth continues to spin, that the universe continues to exists. What I constantly forget is that God not only rules creation, but He is the sustaining force behind it all. I am dependent upon Him for every aspect of my existence – my spiritual salvation as well as each and every breath.
“In him we live and move and have our being”
I am far from self-sufficient. I am no more capable of caring for myself and warding off illness, accidents, and financial loss than I am of keeping the sun burning – much less of guarding the state of my soul. Apart from God, I am unable to fight sin and live a holy life pleasing to God.
Realizing our constant dependence upon Him should drive us to unceasing prayer – not only asking the Lord to care and provide for us and others, but praising and thanking Him that He promises to do just that. We need Him to sustain, to heal, to save. We need Him to help us fight sin, to get through difficult circumstances, and to not worship His blessings above Him. Not a moment goes by where we don’t need Him. And we should not let a moment go by that we are not glorifying Him for His constant care.
I need Thee, O I need Thee;
Every hour I need Thee;
O bless me now, my Savior,
I come to Thee.