Do you remember that Sunday morning sermon by Max Lucado a while back, in which he confessed to being a recovering member of "PWA?" He then explained the PWA stands for Prayer Wimps Anonymous. The crowd chuckled a bit, but I could tell as the humor escaped from most of us. We had to admit, we shared membership in the PWA.
The Christian discipline of prayer has been talked about, studied, written about, memorized, and even prayed about, but for the most part, many Christians still do not get it. Prayer is mentioned in the lives of those who were led by the spirit to write scripture. It is apparent from those scriptures that New Testament Christianity carried with it a close association to the lives of every Christian. Even Jesus invited his closest followers to pray, then set the example for them when he himself prayed very often.
I like writing from time to time on the subject of prayer, but since I heard Max mention the PWA, I have thought for long hours about how "wimpy" our prayer lives must be to God. At least Max said he was a recovering member of the wimps. That tells me, as a follower of Jesus, and one desiring to grow in every area of my Christian existence, I need to be discovering and recovering from being such a prayer wimp. I hope I am speaking not only for myself, but for all recovering prayer wimps, when I say, "WE DO NOT HAVE TO BE PRAYER WIMPS FOREVER!"
The basis for my discovery of being a prayer wimp comes with understanding from creation, all the way to the return of Jesus, God longs for his people to communicate with him. It is a simple task for our hearts and minds to become focused on regular conversation with God. It actually makes life more meaningful when we come to understand the God of the universe wants to talk to us!
So it boils down to this: In times of praise, in times of worship, and yes, in our day to day active lives, God is interested in us and desires to converse with us about everything. Maybe this is why Paul thought prayer was so important when he wrote to the Philippian church and told them, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Philippians 4:6
The more I think about it, when Jesus was teaching his disciples to pray, it wasn't like a training session, or classroom instruction. He was calling on them, and us, to just open our hearts and talk things over with the Father. Prayer is the acknowledgement of God, a time to express thanksgiving, telling God about our needs, but most important, a time for us to listen to his answers.
Join me in the crowd of recovering the intimacy and power of prayer. Just think of the ways in which you can grow in your prayer life, by allowing God to change you from a prayer wimp to a prayer warrior!