Published on January 27th, 2015 | by Jaquelle Crowe

My Prayer Problem

I have a problem with praying. It’s pretty simple: I don’t pray enough.

Remember, Paul’s command to “pray without ceasing”? Everyday I seem to keep failing. When good things happen to me, I just enjoy them. If I was worried, I enjoy the relief. If they were unexpected, I enjoy the surprise. And I forget each gift has a Giver.

But there is one thing that always draws me to prayer. It’s a tummy ache. When I feel immediate, annoying pain, I pray. And I usually pray until the tummy ache eases or I go to bed and fall asleep.

So why can I pray without ceasing when I’m in pain? Simply enough, it’s rooted in my own pride. I believe that I am strong enough, healthy enough, happy enough in my circumstances that I don’t need to go to God. But tummy aches show my weakness. And so I stumble back to God wearing my inability on my sleeve.

Tummy aches remind me that He is God, and I am not. He is strong, and I am weak. He is good, and I am proud. So I guess then that I’m thankful for them, because they draw me closer to God.

But there needs to be more. I can’t be content with half-hearted tummy ache prayers. That is not “praying without ceasing.” It is “praying when you darn well feel like it.”

That is not how a Christian should operate.

The Christian knows that prayer is a discipline to be cultivated, worked, and practiced. It is a tool of ministry, a conduit of communion with God. It is a beautiful, miraculous thing. Yet I “use” it like a telephone when I have a tummy ache.

Prayer is not meant to be “used.” It is a holy conversation. Your words go up to the King of the heavens, the Sovereign God, the divine, and He blesses you in a special way through that conversation.

I won’t continue to be content with tummy ache prayers, and if you’re like me in this sin, I pray you won’t either. Once Christians realize the blessing and beauty of true fellowship with God in prayer, how can we neglect it? It is a discipline of joy, meant to be fostered.

“Man is at his greatest and highest when upon his knees he comes face to face with God.” — Martyn Lloyd-Jones

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Photo courtesy of Lauren Rushing and Flickr Creative Commons.



About the Author

is the 20-year-old former editor-in-chief of The Rebelution and author of This Changes Everything: How the Gospel Transforms the Teen Years (Crossway, March 31, 2017). She's the co-founder of The Young Writers Workshop and hosts a podcast for youth called Age of Minority.

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