Now, before everyone gets frustrated or upset with my title, let me just say upfront I fully believe and know that:
- Prayer is Absolutely Vital
- Imperative in the Life of a Believer
- Modelled by Jesus
- Not practiced enough (thus the reason for this post)
For the record, I do feel I practice a consistent prayer life and have had profound experiences, a sense of closeness with my Creator, but, often, it is fairly uneventful and boring for an “ADD” kind of person like me.
I was recently reading Ben Patterson’s book, “God’s Prayer Book” where he shares the story about Bontsha the silent from Isaac Peretz’s. A very brief nutshell version goes like this:
“All his life Bontsha had been denied, passed over, forgotten. It was consistent and chronic disappointment had robbed him the ability any longer dream and desire; he had come to expect nothing and became nothing. He was Bontsha the Silent.
When he died he found himself standing in heaven, God smiled at him and said, “My son, all your joyless life you had nothing. You lived without hope. But now, here in my presence, there is the fullness of joy, eternal pleasure at my right hand. Only ask, and you shall receive. Anything, anything you want, shall be yours.
Bontsha, squinted his eyes, perhaps even cocked his head slightly and asked, “Anything? Anything at all?
“Yes,” said the Almighty. Anything you want.
After a long pause, he said to God Almighty, “I would like a freshly baked roll with real butter.
Ben Patterson, in his book says,
“Heaven wept. The great tragedy was not what he had been denied, but what he had ceased to desire. God had been reduced to a loaf of bread and butter. Its not that God doesn’t find joy in even answering the simplest prayers…but he knows better than we do what we need – and better yet, he desires things for us that we may not even desire for ourselves.”
Questions & Reflection:
- Do you find yourself not knowing what to pray for?
- Do you reduce God to simple requests and not a vibrant, alive relationship?
- Have you asked God to expand your mind and imagination. For him to share his vision with you?
- Have you asked Him to give you diligence in consistently coming to Him in prayer?
- What are you missing out on that God wants to be teaching you through prayer?
- Today, right now, at this moment, pray.
” The greatest enemy of prayer is not asking for too much of God, but for too little.”
” Prayer is more than a tool for self-expression, a means to get God to give us what we want. It is a means He uses to give us what He wants, and to teach us to want what He wants.”