Do you only pray for socks?
It’s 6.55am on Monday and the alarm goes off.
I know my day always starts better by praying to my heavenly father. But as I get out of bed, that thought gets buried under all the other things in my morning routine.
Its 1.55pm on Tuesday.
After ending a lunchtime catch-up with a Christian brother with the predictable exchange of prayer points, I walk straight back to my desk thinking only of the emails I need to send.
It’s 7.10pm on Wednesday.
That familiar feeling kicks in: I don’t really need to go tonight, do I? It’ll make no difference if I’m not at this week’s prayer meeting.
Powerful and effective?
The Bible says that ‘the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective’ (James 5:16). But although Jesus has given us his righteousness, if you’re anything like me, you rarely believe that about your prayers.
Sure, you wouldn’t say it. Like me, you may at least try and find a minute or two before you turn the light out at night.
But, whilst the apostle James wants prayer to be my first reaction, so often it’s my last.
Or santa and socks?
I’m sure there are loads of reasons I normally start the day without the thing I need most. But one explanation is this: I don’t believe that my prayers make a difference.
But they do. They can help us in trouble (James 5:13). They can heal the sick (James 5:14-16). They can even bring someone back to Jesus (James 5:19-20).
I’m like a child who walks into Santa’s grotto thinking that all they can ask for is socks. Instead, I need to fall on my knees, knowing that in Jesus, my prayers are ‘powerful and effective.’
That’s not to say God will always answer in the way we’d choose. But he definitely won’t answer, if we don’t pray (James 4:2).