Last night mgpc had another first Sunday prayer service.
After prayer it’s common to feel some sense of inadequacy about the words, the duration, the number of folk, all of which strike at your confidence about God’s will to answer prayer.
David Murray puts it this way…
“…and forgive my sins. In Jesus name, Amen.”
Within seconds the wicked whispers start.
“Missed out her, and him, and them…”
“Yawn. Nothing new to say?”
“You call that a prayer?”
“Not enough faith…not enough passion…not enough anything.”
“You don’t actually believe that made a difference, do you?”
“You’ll probably not even think about prayer for the rest of the day”
And on, and on, and on it goes.
Relentless, cruel, malicious Satanic whispers that begin the second I end my morning prayer with, “Amen.”
Anyone else get that? It’s so discouraging, isn’t it. I mean, why pray if all you get at the end of it is an even heavier feeling of guilt and failure? Prayer should be a delight not a dread.
I’d really welcome your own input on this, but here’s how I try to fight back, silence the whispers, and turn prayer into a soul-refreshing delight again.
- God has forgiven me all my sins – even my sinful prayers.
- Jesus is perfecting my prayers and presenting them absolutely flawless to my Heavenly Father.
- My salvation does not depend on my prayers but on Jesus’ prayers.
- My Heavenly Father listens even to the raven’s ugly grating squawks (Ps. 147:9) and gives it food; how much more will he hear and answer the ugly grating squawks of one of His children?
- God delights in those who fear Him, in those who hope in His mercy (Ps 147:9).
- God knows I’m a limited creature who cannot possibly pray for everyone everyday.
- Surely the Devil would simply leave me alone if my prayers were really so pathetic and useless.
- Just because my children don’t (can’t) tell me everything about their lives doesn’t make me love them less, nor does it reflect a lack of love on their part.
- But maybe best of all, “You, Satan, are going to be crushed under my feet shortly” (Rom. 16:2o).
At his blog Murray has requested folk to contribute their own defenses against these baseless discouragements to prayer.