“And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.”- Luke 18:1.
“The persistent widow and the friend at midnight get access, not because they are strong but because they are desperate. Learned desperation is at the heart of a praying life.”- Paul Miller, A Praying Life, 114.
I pray about large things very naturally because those things seem way out of my control. I can easily pray about the health of a loved one, the possible job, the possiblity of a major move in life, the protection from natural disasters, etc. We are all smart enough to understand that there are just certain things out of our control, certain things that are outside of our grasp and ability to comprehend. But i’m also lacking in enough intelligence to believe that some things are in my control. I feel like my marriage is in my control. I feel like my own health is in my control. I feel like my job is in my control. I feel like my “daily bread” is in my control. And yet the shocker comes when reading that the most basic, simple act of waking up in the morning is attributed to God’s providence (Psalm 3:5). If i am completely dependent on God for waking me up in the mornings, how much more am i dependent on Him for the seemingly mintue, insignificant details of life? But i can control the bringing in of money, getting food, etc! Then why would Jesus ask me to pray for my daily bread (Luke 11:3)? Because the God of the Universe knows something about His creation. After all, He created it. He knows that we can do nothing without His sovereign hand. He knows that we are dependant on Him for the most miniscule of things. He knows that the microcosm, as well as the macrocosm, is ruled by His omnipotent governance. If i am honest with myself, i am desperate. I am a desperate being. I can’t get anything that i truly need without Him supplying it for me. Desperation is key to my life, for it finally puts me in my place. I am a vessel to be filled by Him, the beggar needing bread from Him, the orphan in need of adoption from Him. We are needy beings. And it is only in realizing our neediness, in the small things as well as the big ones, that His all sufficiency becomes something that we savor and marvel in. Realized desperation, and i say realized because whether we realize it or not we are desperate, is the catalyst to a life of prayer. The power of prayer does not lie in our strength and ingenuity, but in our weakness and dependance on the God who is not only sovereign, but the God who is also good.