Do you feel inadequate when you think about your prayer life? I do and most Christians, I think, feel that way as well. In my video teaching series, Prayer: From Your Lips to the Father's Heart, I said:
"The easiest way to induce guilt among Christians is to talk about prayer!"
Why do we feel so inadquate about our prayers? There are many reasons, but one of them is, ironically, the Bible itself! The prayer life of Daniel (Dan 6:4-5, 10-11), David (Ps 22:2, 55:17), and Jesus (Mark 1:35, Lu 5:16, 6:12) come to mind. These men made prayer a priority in their lives in ways that I, unfortunately, do not.
Colossians 4:12 describes the prayer life of Epaphras, an obscure helper of the Apostle Paul. Paul said of him:
Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. - Col. 4:12
Epaphras was consistent in prayer which is one thing that many Christians struggle with in prayer. We know he was consistent because Paul said, "He is always wrestling in prayer for you...." Reading that description convicts me of my inconsistencies in prayer.
Not only was Epaphras consistent in prayer, he was intense in his prayers. Paul said that he was "wrestling in prayer for you...." This wording implies an intensity that I find lacking in my own approaches to prayer.
Finally, Epaphras was spiritually-minded in his prayers. Paul said that the content of his prayer was "...for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured." While he may have prayed for the health and happiness of the Colossians, that was not the primary focus of his praying. Instead, Epaphras prayed for their moral stabliity: "...that you may stand firm in all the will of God." He also prayed for their spiritual growth and maturity: "...mature...." Finally, he prayed that they would be confident in their relationship with God: "...fully assured." I take all of this to mean that Epaphras prayed for his brothers and sisters in Colossae by name and, when he prayed for them by name, he asked God to do spiritual work in each person, specifying areas in their lives where he knew they were struggling. This provides a great example for us in our praying, but it also makes me feel convicted about my prayerlessness and shallowness.
Earlier I gave you a quote from my teaching series on prayer. I want to repeat that quote and include a bit more from the video than I did originally. Here it goes:
The easiest way to induce guilt among Christians is to talk about prayer! Yet, God does not want us to feel guilty about prayer; he wants us to pray!
This is why I created this series on prayer. While I still have room to grow in my prayer life and do feel inadquate at times, studying the Bible's teaching on prayer has helped me immensely to grow in my praying. This video series can do the same for you. Click here to buy it and get started.