Do you ever find yourself lacking the courage to pray? This may sound silly, but it is a reality for most normal Christians that live in a fallen world. Often we get bogged down in the hustle and bustle of life that we fail to pray. Maybe we have been struggling with sin and giving way to temptation that has led us to think that God is angry with us or we cannot approach Him because of what we have been involved in. Maybe we do not know how to pray or what to pray, therefore we do not pray at all. I am sure that if we put our heads together, the list of things that discourage us from prayer would be quite lengthy.
But are these legitimate reasons? Should we allow life circumstances, sin, or any other instance discourage us from prayer if we have been reconciled to God through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ? The answer is quite simple: no. In 1 Chronicles 17, God is making a covenant with King David that Davids house will live on forever. God is telling David that He will build this great house, ultimately alluding to the Messiah, which is Jesus Christ. At the end of the chapter, David is responding to the Lord in prayer and he voices two sentences to God that caught my eye. 1 Chronicles 17:25, “For you, my God, have revealed to you servant that you will build a house for him. Therefore your servant has found courage to pray before you.” At some point, we can rightly assume, David lacked courage to pray. Up until God established the house of David and the covenant promise of a lasting kingdom, the Kingdom of God, David was seemingly discouraged in his pursuit of God through prayer. So if you find yourself discouraged in your prayers, you are in good company.
However, something changed for David. God’s covenant promise with David communicated the grace, mercy, and love of God toward David and his people, giving David a lasting understanding that the faithful God of the universe will be faithful to His covenant promise with David. Because of this covenant promise, David knew that God was for him, not against him, and he could approach the Holy God in prayer with courage. You may say, “I get it. David was a man after God’s own heart. David had a covenant promise established with him by God. But that is David, not me.”
Believer, what you need to know is that you have a covenant promise established with you through the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ. You can have courage to pray because God is for you not against you. If you have repented of your sin and placed your faith in Christ, you are a covenant people, set aside for a covenant keeping God, who welcomes all of His blood bought children to His throne in prayer anytime. Hebrews 4:14-16, “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Do not miss this. Because of what God has done for us in Christ Jesus, He welcomes us to the throne of grace in prayer, not with timidity, but boldly. This means that we can have courage in our prayers. And guess what….it is not based upon anything that you have done but solely based upon the grace, mercy, and good pleasure of God. You do not earn this right, it was earned for you by Christ Jesus. This means that you and I can have courage when we pray. This means that even when we are exercising our depraved stupidity and giving way to sin, we are still welcomed at the throne of grace to “find grace to help in time of need.” How mind blowing is this?
“Well….I just don’t know what to pray…I’ve had a bad day…or I am in a spiritual dry season…” It continues to get better. As Jesus sympathizes with us in our weakness, He is well aware of our discouragement and our times of need. He is well aware that dry seasons exist and we do not always know how or what to pray. But God has not abandoned us in this. Romans 8:26, “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” We do not always know what to pray because we are weak and frail. It is okay for us to admit that we are weak. It is okay for us to admit that we do not have it all together. It is okay for us to admit that we do not know what to pray. Why? Because that is where grace meets us. Even when we do not know how to pray as we ought the Spirit of the living God, the Third Person of the Trinity, intercedes on our behalf with groanings too deep for words. This means that He prays in a way that you and I cannot pray and He does this when we are clueless on how and what to pray. Amazing.
Child of God courageously approach the throne of Grace. Just as God built the house of David and established His Kingdom giving David the courage to pray, He has done the same for you in Christ Jesus and expects us to have the courage to pray because He gladly welcomes His children into HIs throne room. Exercise this right, do not neglect it, and be encouraged by the love found in our great God.