Prayer is often described as being simple; and it is. It is, perhaps, the simplest of all spiritual disciplines. And that makes one wonder, why, then, do so many people find it so hard to pray? It is because prayer is more than just saying words to God. Prayer is an act which combines mind, heart, and soul in conversation and communion with God. As John Lake said, "There is a mighty lot of difference between saying prayers and praying."
What we want to find out today is how we can cross the line from just saying prayers to really praying. That is what the verse we are focusing on helps us to see.
First, we must accept the fact that we are not as strong in prayer as we should be. Luke writes, "And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray..." Apparently, this disciple had been listening to Jesus pray. As he heard how the Master prayed, he realized his inadequacy in prayer and the inadequacy of his fellow disciples. He saw how the Master prayed and realized that his own prayer life was lacking.
When it comes to spiritually important disciplines such as prayer, Bible study, faith, trusting God, and obedience to God, there is always the temptation to try to get others to think that we are much more advanced than we actually are. It takes a great deal of humility to be able to say, 'I am not as strong in prayer as I should be.' 'I don't read the Bible as often as I ought to.' 'I still struggle with trusting God.'
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