How many of you know there is a difference between being prayerfully dependent and prayerfully desperate? After pondering on a prayer request from someone at our Life Group and meditating on a Psalm I read, I came to understand there is a distinction between the two.
As a church and as people we seek to be prayerfully dependent. Prayerful dependence acknowledges our need for God even when things are going well. We pray to God because we want to talk to him. We want to share what is going on in life.
Prayerful desperation is another thing all together. This happens in times when we have to talk to God because there’s so much going on. These are times when things are not going well. During these times we just need gentle nudging to seek God in prayer.
During the good times though, often we need reminded and challenged to continue seeking God.
Charles Spurgeon has written about prayer in a book titled, “The Power of Prayer in a Believer’s Life.” In expounding on John 15:7, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you,” Spurgeon writes about two key concepts that relate to the topic at hand: to abide and to ask.
To remain means to stay. Some translations use the word, “abide.” When we’re dealing with the subject of prayer, it means we need to stay close to Jesus all the time. If we know our tendency is to drift when everything is fine and dandy, we need to take intentional steps to stay close to Jesus and our Heavenly Father. We also need to remain in God’s Word. This can mean the difference between an average relationship with the Lord and a close one.
Not only is remaining close to Jesus important; asking God to answer our prayers is key as well. How can we be prayerfully dependent and desperate when things are going well? The answer lies in praying for others. When we don’t have many prayer requests, we set our minds to intercede for others. Praying for lost co-workers or the salvation of a family member can bring a sense of urgency to our prayer life during these times. Asking God to radically transform our church and our community are other ways to capture this same sense. Another example would be praying for young people in our church and in our area.
To see what a desperate prayer looks like, read Psalm 13. As you read, you could jot down ways you can hear the psalmist’s desperation and how you can learn from him and his prayer life.
Abiding and asking….asking and abiding…these are keys for us to stay close to God in prayer. These are keys for us to be prayerfully desperate and prayerfully dependent. I encourage you to seek God in these two ways this week.
If we do, there’s no telling what God might do!!!