There are times when our prayer life can seem to be repetitive, mundane and even boring. It’s as if we run out of things to pray about and the prayers we pray are the same old, same old prayers. And if we are honest with ourselves – sometimes we question the validity of those prayers. Should we be praying something new. Should we be praying a different way. Should we be praying for something different; instead of repeating the same prayers that we pray?
Indeed there are times when we should change our prayer life. It’s right and proper for us to examine what it is we pray, why we pray, and how often we pray. Because true prayer is borne out of intimacy with the Father, through the Son, in the power and person of the Holy Spirit. We need to repent of our wickedness if we consider prayer just something we should do without that sense of intimacy with God.
Yet, what about those who are intimate with God. We know God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit to various degrees. Prayer is an important part of our relationship with God. We know that the prayers we pray are Scriptural. It’s just that it seems repetitive. And so what are we to do?
Keep praying those same prayers over and over again. Jesus tells us to keep knocking, keep asking, keep interceding and not giving up until we get what it is we are asking for. Within the framework of repetition, the Old Testament priesthood was told to speak a repetitive blessing over the Israelites. May the Lord bless you. May the Lord keep you. May the Lord make his face shine upon you. The priests were required to speak this blessing over the people as they dismissed them from the worship meeting. The Apostle Paul begins his epistle to the Ephesians with the encouragement that he keeps asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[ of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. And finally the author of Hebrews tells us that Jesus is making continual intercession for us before the Father.
But while we acknowledge the validity of repetitive prayer; there are a few things we can do which will cause us to have a fresh sense of the importance of what it is we are praying. There are a few things we can do to revitalise our prayer life. For instance some friends of mine have asked that I might pray for their energy so they can do what is needed. Every day I lift them to the lord asking him to energise them. Sometimes those prayers are one line sentences. Sometimes they are part of a more intense and longer time of prayer for them.
The devil hates us to pray for those who are going about Gospel work. He doesn’t want these friends to be energised to to what it is God has called them to do. Therefore he will do what he can to prevent us from praying for them – through firing a fiery dart into our minds, he questions our prayer life…didn’t you pray this yesterday or the day before… you don’t need to pray this again… and so we need to be discerning as to just where those thoughts are coming from and to take them captive and make them obedient to God. When that happens to me I say “Devil get away from me, Father God protect us from the evil one, and grant my friends a double dose of energy, cause them to be more fruitful for your kingdom.’’
Remember that prayer is about the need at hand. When we worry about prayer being boring or repetitious there is a danger that we are no longer focussed on the Lord and the needs of those we are praying for. Remind ourselves of what it is we are praying and why we are praying.
Using the example of my friends prayer request, I can ask what does “Energy” mean. What does Scripture say about energy. Are there examples of prayers that we can find where others pray for energy? If so, then we can pray those same prayers. One such example is found where Paul continues to pray for the Ephesians that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. Another example is a promise found in Isaiah 40:31but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.And as we read these Scriptures we can feel our own faith raising up. We feel our own hearts being strengthened, inspired and refreshed.
Because we are praying to our heavenly Father, we can ask him for wisdom as to how he would have us pray for our friends energy requirements. For he knows when we are tired because of sin. When we are tired because we need rest. When we are tired because of stress. When we are tired because of spiritual attack. There are many areas of life where we need energy. Mental, physical, spiritual, emotional needs. And through asking God for wisdom how to pray, we can pray accordingly to what we sense is needed. and of course we can pray for all these areas through praying.. ‘Father God, I lift my friends and those around them to you. May you energise them with your tangible presence and the knowledge of your love in their body, mind and soul.
Finally while we may pray for the same things on a regular basis, remember those things are not mundane for those we are praying for. And because our heavenly father cares for every area of our life and the lives of those around us, he doesn’t think they are mundane and boring either. So let us pray!