The Paradox Church

Prayer in Our Weakness

The older I get and the more I pray, the more I long for Jesus to make all things new, the more I stand with my arms to the heavens and ask for his kingdom to come and for his will to be done, the more I ask for specific petitions and requests, and the more I pray in the name of Jesus…the more I am shown that I am empty and weak and can do nothing for myself.

I cannot control the cars on I-30, I cannot command the cells in my body to be healthy and cancer free, I cannot determine the salvation of my children, I cannot provide for my husband’s happiness, and I cannot even guarantee the success of the work I do with my hands and heart.

I am nothing apart from Jesus and I have nothing apart from him and I can do nothing without him. I cannot even pray apart from grace from God Himself who leads me to pray.

Friends, our prayer life will be fueled by the overflowing, never ending awareness of our need or it will be stifled by our confidence in our skills and bank accounts and character. We are prayerless not because we are addicted to Facebook, or because we are busy.

We are prayerless because we believe that we are strong and able and smart enough and capable and adequate. Which is the antithesis of prayer.

Psalm 34:6 says, “This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles.” David is articulating his need. He’s agreeing with the reality of God that we are poor.

We are poor and the LORD hears us. He inclines himself towards us. He became like us to deliver us from our troubles. Do you know the wonder that is a God who gives us permission, commands, and teaches us to pray so that he might hear our voice?

My hope for the language or culture of discipleship is that we would stop allowing the words of self-help and flattering one another with “good lucks” and “You’ve got this” and muscle arm emoji talk and that we might instead speak the gospel to one another that we are poor and the Lord hears us and saves us. If you took a look at the language of your city group and the language of your discipleship, does that language point to a humanity that can save itself or to our precious Jesus who hears us and saves us?

My earnest hope for you and your city group is that you would become more like Jesus. This is why we talk about discipleship. Perfect man, Jesus, prayed in his agony to the point of sweating blood. If we are becoming like Jesus, if we are disciples, we will be a people who prays.

Heather Thompson
Deacon of Operations

Resource: Watch this video on the reality of weakness here.