The Condition of Prayer

I’m a father of 2. Cassidy is 2, Jackson is 8. I remember when I was around 8 and throughout my childhood and teen years, I would ask for certain things from my parents. My mom would say ‘yes, on one condition’. A condition in this sense was something that I would have to fulfill in order to receive the privilege I was asking for. But the word condition is also used to indicate some health problem, for example, my wife has the condition of migraine headaches. Not a fun thing…

But today I was thinking that sin is like a human condition in the health problem sense. One of the conditions that we all have as part of our humanity is sin. We all do it, and that’s just part of being human. It is a human condition.

PRAYER is also a condition. It is a condition of being a Christian. But this time I mean it in the parenting sense. In order to deal with the human condition of broken-ness and sin, we must fulfill the condition of prayer in our Christian journey. We MUST pray. To pray is to experience God. To pray is to listen somehow to God. To pray is to commune with Him, to present our cares to Him. To pray is to confess. And by doing so we confront head-on the human condition we have of sin. It is through prayer that we conduct a transaction between the living God and ourselves. 1 John 9 says ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.’

And every prayer matters. Some prayers are spontaneous. Some are anguished or tearful. Some are angry. Some are carefully thought out and written down, like songs that we can say or sing over and over again. But all of them are good, and right if they are directed towards God. Even the angry ones. The book of Psalms has some really good examples of pretty much all of those… here’s a great prayer I just read from my devotional.

O God my father, renew my spirit and draw my heart to Yourself, that my work may not be to me a burden, but a delight. And give me such love for You as would sweeten all my obedience. Help me, that I may serve You with the cheerfulness and gladness of a child, delighting myself in You and rejoicing in all that is to the honor of Your name. Through Jesus Christ my Lord, Amen. THE BOOK OF PRAYER

I sometimes want to pray, but struggle with it because I don’t know where to start, or where I do start seems to not be ‘working’. It’s in those times I often turn to my bible or a fantastic devotional my mother gave me that is full of prayers written by modern thinkers and saints of history. Prayers and scriptures written by others are often the key that I need to help ‘prime the pump’ in my prayer life – to get me started or to keep me going.

Here’s another great prayer that can perhaps start you off on the right foot:

Lord, You have promised to meet those who seek You. Come now and reveal Your presence to me as I make myself present to You. In the name of Jesus Christ my Lord, Amen.

Jon Buller