I thought the following quote fit well with the text and sermon from this last Sunday. It points out again how the marriage of desperation and faith leads to intense prayer.
Thought for the day:
Sometimes we pray because we are feeling holy and sometimes we pray because we are feeling desperate. I suspect it’s the desperate prayers that God hears.
In other words, when we depend in our prayers on our holiness we start to sound like the Pharisee in the parable Jesus tells in Luke 18. The core model for prayer is that of a child petitioning his or her father. Our prayers are not heard because of anything intrinsic in us other than a belief that we desperately need God every moment and that he hears us when we cry to him in our desperation.
(HT: Tim Chester)
Here's some more helpful thoughts from Justin Buzzard.
I’ve noticed something. Maybe you’ve noticed the same thing.
When coming out of a hard season, when life starts to get a little bit easier, I’ve noticed that my prayer life slowly becomes a little less active, a little less desperate. Is this ringing a bell?
I think it’s crucial that we notice and address this. Why? Because such a downshift in our prayers signals the subtle beginnings of idolatry–life gets easier and we slowly begin putting our trust in the improving circumstances (better financial position; better work performance; more notoriety; etc) rather than the God who improved our circumstances.
Notice and address this.
The first key is to notice that this is happening. Notice the tendency of your heart to shift attention and prayer away from God because now you think you don’t need God like you used to when life was hard. That’s a lie.
The second key is to address what’s happening in your head and heart. Remind yourself of where your ultimate security lies, remind yourself of your ultimate treasure: God. Praise God and thank God for your easier life (he wants you to enjoy the graces he gives you), but wake up every morning and be crystal clear with yourself–you stand in desperate need of God, your circumstances could change in an instant, your great comfort in life and death is that you belong to God and that in him you have a rock to stand on no matter how hard or easy your life may be at the moment.
When life gets easier, don’t pray less. When life gets easier, enjoy God, go to God, commune with God even more. This will protect you from the subtle creep of idolatry.
(HT: Justin Buzzard)