Message From Matt | January 18, 2018

 

In a rut?
 
I was taking the kids to school this past Monday, on a day that I was wondering why they had school to begin with, when I had an observation about the ruts made in the snow.  As I’m sure that you are all aware of, the roads were pretty slick due to the snow and the travel was very slow going.  Thankfully, we didn’t have any incidents on the roads and as long as I stayed in the ruts made by other cars before me,  we didn’t slip and slide too much.  However, when I moved out of those ruts to change lanes or get off at my exit, that’s when the driving became more treacherous.  After all, those ruts kept me in the lane and were more stable that driving in the mounds of snow.  I realized once again that there was a feeling of safety when I was in the ruts and for that drive to school and back I was thankful for those ruts!

Somewhere in that trip to school and dealing with the snow covered roads, I got to thinking about those ruts. I realized that ruts made in the snow might be the only ruts that I have anything positive to say about.  I started thinking about the other ruts that we can experience in life… 

  • Married couples can have ruts in their marriage and it seems bland and boring!
  • Employees can have ruts at their job and feel like they are stuck!  
  • Business owners can feel like they’re in a rut and that their business is faltering!  
  • We can be in ruts with our health, money, life goals, and the list could go on….  

There is nothing good about these ruts and these situations can lead us to feeling burned out, lonely and lost!  

The same thing can be said about our prayer life!  It is easy to get into a rut in our prayers to God. Sometimes we are in a rut because our prayers are just a routine that we follow.  In other cases, our prayer life could just be just ritualistic, where we say the same prayers at dinner time and bedtime.  The reality is that our prayer life can easily become mundane and monotonous and the results are more destructive than we realize.  Why destructive?  I think it is because we get lulled into a complacency, believing that the same old prayer that we always say is just what God wants to hear, but in reality I think that we miss an intimacy with God that requires more than just the standard prayers. God is wanting more than the routine and rituals in our prayer life!  

What is He wanting in our prayer lives?  We have already discussed a few of these things, but let me remind you:

  • He is looking for people that pray fervently (passionately) to Him!  – “...The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” – James 5:16
  • He wants us to pray boldly (confidently) – “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in the time of need.” – Hebrews 4:16
  • Pray believing (have faith) – “In whom (Jesus) we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.” – Ephesians 3:12

He also wants us to consistently  have Him on our minds!

In one of the shortest verses in the Bible, Paul tells the Thessalonians that they are to…” Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and that is the same way it should be for us.  We shouldn’t just pray before each meal and that is the extent of our conversation with God.  Neither should we get stuck in the rut of just praying the same prayers for different occasions and feel good about that.  In reality, we should have God in our thoughts and on our minds throughout the day.  No one can be on their knees before the Lord 24/7, but we can ponder on and speak to Him throughout the day.  Having Him constantly in our thoughts really can help us!  When we are tempted to sin, our thoughts need to turn to Him and His Word…and it helps us!  When we have a struggle, He can help us!  When we are overwhelmed, He can help us!  Thinking on and praying to God throughout the day is a great way that we can experience His presence and helps us not to feel burned out, lonely or lost!  

So let’s focus on God throughout our day and avoid the rut of a normal prayer life!

Want to take part in a powerful group prayer time?  Our boiler room prayer time is every Sunday morning from 8:15-9:15 AM in the conference room.  Please come and pray with us!
 
Matt Roller