All men should enjoy the privilege of spending time in the presence of our Heavenly Father
Prayer may not always be at the top of a man's to-do-list, but it isn't an optional extra for MPower men of God, says Gordon Allan.
I don’t think that prayer is an easy thing for men. We are good at being active, excelling at being “busy doing nothing.” We are task orientated, often driven by targets, goals and things that can easily and quickly be measured.
We look to notch one up in the win column as quickly as possible and move to the next thing. And, if you haven’t already noticed, prayer doesn’t work like that!
Prayer is neither a science nor is it a slot machine but we know that time spent in prayer is not wasted time. It is uncomfortable because in our earthly, activist thinking we want to “do something” with immediate results.
We are not called to endure a quiet time, rather for each man to enjoy the privilege of spending time in the Presence of our Heavenly Father, the Bible calls it “waiting” (Isaiah 40:30-31) on God, the early Pentecostals would call it “tarrying” for the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4). In those moments we receive His strength, refreshing, wisdom and perspective in our lives.
When we pray (and if we listen) the Lord’s mentoring in our lives becomes a real prospect. Inside every guy is a desire to be fathered and to be coached to become all they ever could be. Prayer opens the door to that possibility of God’s power in our lives. That in itself changes our whole motivation for prayer.
Recently, I had a conversation with a man living with a painful disappointment in life. He had prayed, but things didn’t work out as he had hoped or planned. He asked, "What is the point of praying?" I don’t think he is the only man who has asked that question.
It was borne out of frustration and the fallout. God hadn’t done as he had been asked. Here is my response to him.
When God doesn't seem to answer prayer people can doubt him. The Bible affirms God's faithfulness to those who pray according to His will & points out that we only see things from a human perspective, not necessarily from a Spiritual or from God's perspective.
Isaiah 55:8-9 reminds us “for my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Prayer isn’t about God aligning Himself with us, but about us aligning ourselves with Him.
It is trusting in His perfect plan for our lives on those days when we feel on the mountain top and in those valley moments too. The Bible calls that faith and prayer grows this essential God quality often during challenging episodes.
The Bible does mention people who question God and his promises - Moses (Exodus 5:22-23), Abraham (Gen 15:2-3), Joshua (Jos 7:7-9). The Bible also highlights those who question the tasks, roles, and locations God has put them into.
King David on the run (numerous times), Jonah (because God wasn't going to do what he thought he should), Even Jesus on the Cross called out to God, "Why have you forsaken me?"
Here is the bottom line. We need to pray because God commands it (2 Chronicles 7:14) and Jesus teaches it (Matthew 6:9 ahead of the Lord's Prayer). He also modeled it, getting up early, escaping the crowds, going to the solitary place in the busyness of life and also praying in the most desperate of situations (Garden of Gethsemane- before his betrayal, trial(s), beating/ flogging and execution on the Cross as your sin sacrifice.
In Acts 16, Paul and Silas choose prayer and praise in a Philippian prison when they could have chosen to pity themselves or question what God was playing at.
In Colossians 4:3 Paul's encouragement to the church was not to pray for his release, but to pray for an open door for the Gospel to be communicated. This was the man who could say that in God he was content in all circumstances. How are you doing there?
If we don't pray, we don't experience God's Presence. If we don't seek His help and opinion, we will become spiritually weak, open to sin and compromise.
If prayer is the key to bringing Heaven to earth and if "Your Kingdom come" is the believer's true reality then prayer is not an optional extra for the MPower man of God, it is an essential component of our faith and life.
Praying for you today wherever you are and whatever you are going through.