Prayer is not a box to check

Can you imagine that after taking my wife out to dinner and having deep, meaningful conversation, I said to her, “well now I can check that off my list.”? Sounds pretty cold. Isn’t this how we treat our time in prayer? We rush through prayer, making our way through all the things we need to ask of God, and when we are done we feel a sense of accomplishment. But you see if anything was ever accomplished it was by Christ on the cross. Hebrews 10:19-22 says, “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” He died that we might have relationship and sweet fellowship with Him. We are able to pray because through Jesus redeeming work we are able to approach the good king, not as wretched beggars, but as his beloved children. So prayer is not a box to check, in order to feel good about ourselves, or our standing with God, or to be able to tell others we have diligently prayed for them, but a chance to commune with the God who has created, saved and sustains us. Praying for others is so important, but prayer is much much more; it is confessing to the Lord and remembering His grace. Prayer is about thanking Him for the good things in life and how they remind you of the good Giver. It is about thanking Him for the hard things you are enduring because they are His means of making you like Christ. Prayer is a time to adore God and savor the fact that in His perfect character He is able to make good on His promises. Prayer is a time to tell God, “I love you.” My prayer for you is that you will not rush into or out of prayer; but like two friends who are catching up and lose track of time, you will be caught up in sharing your heart with our precious Lord.

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