I love the story about the little boy playing in the sandbox. There was a big rock in the sandbox that was inhibiting his fun. He tried to roll it out of the box, but it was too big and too heavy for him to push it out. In frustration, he began to cry.
His dad witnessed the whole thing and said to his tearful son, “Why don’t you use all your strength?” The little boy responded through his sobs, “I did use all my strength, Daddy!” To which his dad replied, “No, you didn’t … because you didn’t ask me for help.”
How much are we like that little boy sometimes? How often do we attempt to move the obstacles in our path without seeking first the Lord and calling on His name? The end result is always the same. We end up angry, frustrated, tearful, and dejected over our inability to solve the problem.
I couldn’t put it any better than the psalmist did in Psalm 116:1-2 …
I love the LORD, because He hears my voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live.
God is waiting for you and me to look to Him—because His incredible power is available to His children at all times. No doubt it amazes God that so few Christians, relatively speaking, really invest the time and energy in earnest prayer. As the psalmist said, “He has inclined His ear to [us].”
So why don’t we pray more frequently and more fervently than we do? Let me offer some reasons:
• We don’t really believe God will answer.
But the truth is He promises to answer. “Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3).
• We don’t really believe God cares.
But the truth is He cares more than we can fathom. “Leave all your worries with him, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7 GNT).
• We don’t really believe it will make any difference.
But the truth is it makes all the difference in the world. “You do not have because you do not ask” (James 4:2b).
• We are much more prideful than we care to admit.
The prideful person doesn’t ask for help. “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6b).
• We are too preoccupied with lesser things and too lazy with important things.
Prayer is hard work. It takes effort, and it’s a struggle at times. The devil knows the power of God comes when we get on our knees, so he fights tooth and nail to keep us from it. “Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness” (1 Timothy 4:7b).
Let me encourage you as I encourage myself to make prayer (and Bible study) the cornerstone of your walk with Jesus. We desperately need His help, His grace, and His guidance. He told us He is available to us, but we have to call upon Him.
The old adage is certainly true: “No prayer, no power. Some prayer, some power. Great prayer, great power!” Let’s determine together to be people of great prayer. If we will, God will supply great power.