Friday, 3/5/21 – Friday Question: What to do when prayer seems hollow?

What to do when prayer seems hollow?

I was praying with a group of men yesterday, good men…. godly men whose love and prayers to God are genuine… whose hearts desire is truly to hear from God. Men sorely in need of divine direction, strengthening of spirit, and peace of God. I checked my own heart. Yes… I was being true… both in words and in heart.

Yet, the room felt empty. I felt I was just talking… Was this real prayer? Was God’s ear attentive? Were my prayers (our prayers?) Just bumping off brass skies? Falling again to the earth? Shattering on impact? I prayed on… What else could I do? Then, we were done.

There had been many other times in prayer with these men. Times where God’s Presence was unifying… assuring… a Presence in the room we knew was attentive… a Personage with Whom we knew we had left our petitions. Times when on parting we knew we had been in conversation, not merely to Whom we had orated a monologue.

“Pray without ceasing,” urges Paul (1 Thess. 5:17). What? How can such a demand be possible? A man has to work, to eat, to attend to personal hygiene, to witness, to grow relationships, to sleep and to love. How can one pray in the dentist chair, while shopping for groceries, taking out the trash… and on and on…

But Paul does not mean for us to be on our knees and in our closets always, though such times too are necessary. Rather, he reminds us that prayer is to us like breathing– a thing we currently manage through all the above. As a newborn gasps filling its lungs and thereafter never ceases, so the reborn take in Christ and never cease… through all terrains, and trials, temptations and triumphs he breathes on… in dry times and in glorious times, for better or for worse. Jesus is his life!

What to do when prayer seems hollow? — Pray on! The reward of prayer, like the reward of breathing, is life… spiritual life… life eternal… Pray on… pray through… pray anyway… and…

Press on…

Got a question? Use the Contact page and send It to me. We’ll search the Word for God’s answer.

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