“True prayer demonstrates and intensifies faith.”
— Matthew Jacoby, Deeper Places
PRAYER is inherently relational. Staid and stale prayers do nothing for either the person praying or for God. Prayers that become listless liturgies have no function other than satisfy the legalist.
Superficial prayers are no foundation with which to undergird and build our faith.
Prayer that is caged in a question to be answered – “Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz” – is a superficial prayer that completely abuses the relationship that prayer, as a medium, seeks to consummate. It does nothing for us or God. It doesn’t link us with God relationally – and that is prayer’s purpose.
It demonstrates no faith to ask for something our fleshly heart desires. Indeed, our faith might as well be in fate – “Will ‘God’ answer?” “If I’m ‘lucky’.”
Prayer is the greater vehicle into the solace of tumult, for in pain we are driven to pray. When there’s a struggle, a conquest to be had, for the bounty of faith, that’s where prayer comes into its own, by its own right alone.
Prayer is the game breaker. It is not one prayer and then two; no, the journey consists of the consistency of prayer. Real faith to traverse the journey that is the very real and tenuous struggle is underpinned by constant prayer – unwritten, silent, solemn, and heart-burdened. Such prayer is relational.
When we cry our tears at night, these droplets of saline are prayers of their own as we wrestle with the content of our lives that we find enormously confronting.
The Purpose of Prayer in Pain
The purpose of prayer in pain is as a vehicle for growth and intimacy with God.
The Lord desires for not only our healing, but, in the process, that we would know God irrevocably well. Knowing God – as in really knowing, loving and following the Lord Jesus – for discipleship to be our number one value – is both the means and ends of prayer.
As we seek God in prayer, when we are struggling particularly, there is something that God does because we are earnestly seeking him; God intensifies the strength, resolve and capacity of our faith.
The more genuinely prayerful we are, the more our faith deepens.
This is because we have taken God at his word – we have sown into a true relationship with him. We haven’t settled for using God as if he were an idol. No, we have committed ourselves to truly relying upon God.
The purpose of prayer in pain is as a vehicle for growth and intimacy with God. The Lord desires for not only our healing, but, in the process, that we would know God irrevocably well.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.