Howard Taylor says of his father, Hudson Taylor, “For 40 years during his missionary tenure, the sun never rose on China that God didn’t find him on his knees.”
For many people, prayer is simply a way to convince God to give them something they want. That kind of prayer never gets above the ceiling. Let me tell you what excites me the most about prayer. The more my prayer life grows, the closer the Lord and I become. I wonder sometimes if many of us shy away from a growing prayer life with God because we fear the intimacy.
Emilie Griffin writes—“Prayer can, after all, be a very dangerous business. For all the benefits it offers of drawing closer to God, it carries with it a great element of risk: the possibility of change.”
In prayer, we open ourselves up to the chance that God will do something in us or with us that we hadn’t intended, and that can be scary stuff. I mean, what if He wants me to quit my job and start working with street people? Too radical? OK…what if He wants me to start loving and spending time with someone I can’t stand. What if He wants me to work with teens in my church or be involved in a mentoring program at a local school?
Another thing I’ve discovered is that the emphasis on prayer in scripture is never upon the circumstance. It’s always upon the relationship between God and man.
Men of God did not focus their prayers on circumstances so much, or demand that God make a certain thing happen. Rather, the heart of their prayers was “Lord, may this circumstance bring You glory and honor, and may it bring You and me closer together.”
I don’t believe it’s possible to become too intimate with the Father. Prayer can be a discipline that can bring you into that intimacy. Guess what? It’s about relationship!