“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” Hebrews 10:22
Do you ever feel guilty about your prayer life? None of us pray as we ought… or as we are permitted, because we get in the way of the gospel reality of our life in Jesus and our opportunity to pray with confidence and genuine love. There are reasons for this…
“The first reason we don’t pray is that we don’t really think we need to. Unless we are in an especially difficult trial, we are pretty satisfied in our self-sufficiency…We are confirmed in our self-sufficient blindness, convinced that we are doing okay. We don’t believe that we are as sinful and weak as God says we are. We feel pretty strong; we are making it. We function like unbelievers.”
“The second reason we have little fervor in prayer is that we are not really very comfortable in God’s presence. We suppose that he is sitting up in heaven wishing we would get our act together… Yes, we believe the gospel, but only to a certain extent. We concede that we’re sinful and flawed, but we are not really desperate. We acknowledge that he has loved and welcomed us, but we are not ravished by the fact.”
The solution to our prayerlessness and comfort in God’s presence? The gospel.
“Only the gospel will make you comfortable with the bridegroom. Only the gospel will warm your affections so that you will long for an opportunity to be near him, to rest your head on his breast, to feel the warmth of his nearness, to let him put his arm around your drooping shoulders and say, “I’m here. You’re mine. Soon these interposing years will end, and your faith will be sight. stay here by me for a while and let me give you my strength. See how I love you.”
“Let the gospel, and only the gospel, motivate you to pray.”
Lenten devotion from Comforts from the Cross by Elyse Fitzpatrick. Day 29.