Ask God to settle in your heart what a privilege it is to pray. Ask Him to move you past the duty (“I have to pray”) to the privilege (“I have the freedom to pray.”) He is Emanuel, God with us, and He wants to talk with us.
Because He is Emanuel and wants to spend time with His children, our prayer times should be seen as an advantage, a benefit, an opportunity.
We are at liberty to pray to our Creator. He has given us favor to do so. Even more, He has assured us that He hears our prayers. In Jeremiah 29:12-13, for example, the Lord says, “When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen. When you come looking for me, you’ll find me.” (MSG)
A line in the hymn, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” sums up my point: What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.
We are afforded the opportunity to talk with God. To listen to God. To be close to God.
When we talk to God, we have the privilege of knowing who we are talking with. We know His name. We are able to call Him friend. We are able to call Him Father.
We have the freedom to make requests of Him: Seek me. Save me. Teach me. Heal me.
We have the benefit of knowing He is always near, never far.
We have the advantage of time in quiet and stillness with Him.
Honestly, we can talk with Him anytime or anywhere because He is ever-present.
He desires us to talk with Him. Sit with Him. Cry to Him. Lay our cares on Him. Listen to Him. Know Him.
Let us come to a place in our lives where we genuinely acknowledge the privilege = we are able to pray to God and have the confidence that He hears us.
Ask God to reveal your heart to you. Do you see time with Him as a duty? Something to be accomplished every day? Checked off your list of tasks? Is your time with God calculated? Something you feel you must do to gain a desired outcome or response?
If this is where you are, don’t be discouraged. Everyone has to start somewhere.
Or maybe you thought you already moved past this point and can’t figure out how you got back here.
Don’t let this get you down. We go through seasons. Life circumstances change.
The important thing to do is to realize when you find yourself in that place so you can pray and ask God for help.
Ask God to move you past the view that you have a duty to fulfill. Ask Him to show you that you have been given freedom to enjoy something of a higher value: a relationship with God. This plea for a deeper more genuine relationship is pleasing to God, and He will surely change your heart.