A lot of my life has been spent in careers that had become comfort zones. For the first 16 years of vocational ministry (and intermittently after that), I spent that time in music ministry. Most of those years were average with the exception of 2009-2012. Exceptional or not, it was very much a comfort zone. Then I entered the world of hospice as a chaplain, bereavement and volunteer coordinator. I settled in to that role too. The saddest part was that my comfortability was high and my prayer life was low. My prayerlessness revealed some disturbing things about me.
Prayerlessness reveals deep arrogance and pride. I had come to a point in both music ministry and hospice work that I felt extremely competent to the point that I prayed very little. I thought my ability was more than enough. I felt like I could do these jobs in my sleep. When pride took over, the power of God was barely evident in anything I attempted to do for God. There was a lot of Matthew but very little God. I’m not minimizing God at all, but I’m sadly saying that I minimized the emphasis on God in my attitude. I wasn’t depending on Him like I should, and it showed.
Prayerlessness also reveals a lack of faith. Some erroneously teach that you should only pray about something once, because praying twice or more would not be leaving it at the feet of Jesus. The last time I checked, Luke 11 teaches persistence in prayer. Ask, seek, and knock in Matthew 7 mean in the original Greek to keep asking, keep seeking, and keep knocking. When I don’t pray, I’m revealing that I don’t believe God is going to do anything about my prayer requests. My actions say that I don’t trust God enough to answer my prayers.
I am in a place right now where I feel the need to pray more than ever. For all intensive purposes, I shouldn’t be a lead pastor. I’m an introvert. How on Earth could God use an introvert to lead a church? It’s the extroverts who are the church builders. You know the guys who can fit into the skinny jeans, wear designer clothes, and all that junk. My talent and personality are not going to draw anyone to our church. I have nothing but the power of God to draw from, and that’s the way it should be! The church I pastor will fall apart unless God does the work. I need Him!
My new job also demands I pray and lean heavily upon my Lord. My personality is one that would rather follow than lead, yet I’m a business manager. God led me to this ministry, yet every single one of us on staff realizes that anything good that happens is solely from God. This ministry was built on that reality, and we all lean upon Him to do much with little.
Does your life exhibit prayerlessness? Consider the fact that arrogance and a lack of faith are prominent in your mind and heart. Recognize your desperate need for God in all things and start praying. Pray about everything and watch God turn some things around. The greatest thing He will change is you. Are you up for the challenge?