Never a Wasted Prayer
It was January 2005. I was 19 years old and had just arrived in Charlotte, North Carolina for a worship conference. At that conference, I met a woman named Susan and had a five-minute conversation with her that would end up changing my life.
I’d heard about Susan before and had even seen her from afar on several different occasions. One thing about this woman was clearly apparent to me: she knew God and had a deep prayer life. She didn’t exude any special charisma. She didn’t shout. She didn’t even stand up most of the time. She would just sit there, eyes closed, a position that, if I tried it, would put me to sleep in about five minutes.
I asked Susan about her prayer life and started to share how I’d been dealing with pain and even shame over not having much of a prayer life because I would be so distracted when I went to pray that I’d just give up.
Susan’s response was quick, unassuming, and matter-of-fact:
Justin, there is never a wasted time of prayer. Even if you’re distracted, even if you don’t feel anything in the moment, I guarantee you three things are happening: 1) Things in the heavens are shifting, 2) You are being changed, and 3) God’s heart is being deeply moved.
My prayer life changed that day.
Sometimes a lack of confidence that God is pleased with me or that He will even hear my prayers will determine whether or not I pray. If I’ve already counted myself out of the game, why would I even show up to play?Though your love for God may feel weak, it’s real in His eyes. Click To Tweet
That day began a journey of confidence. Confidence to keep coming before Him.
And you know what happened? I was still distracted a lot. My mind would still wander. But over the days and weeks, I began to find myself being more focused for longer periods of time. As my confidence that God was moved by my prayers grew, so did my connection to Him. As I began to believe that even my weakest, most uninspired prayers counted, my ability and desire to persist in prayer increased.
Though your love may feel weak, it’s real in His eyes. He loves even your weakest attempt to spend time with Him. The times when you’re most distracted, God sees the intention of your heart and is moved by it.
Do you feel bold and confident to come before Him today? If not, I encourage you to begin talking to the Lord about it. Ask Him to show you the truths that He showed Susan, that every prayer that you pray is shifting things, changing your heart, and moving the heart of God.If you believe that even your weakest, most uninspired prayers count, your desire to persist in prayer will increase. Click To Tweet
Huge thanks to my friend Jordan Vanderplate for letting me use this photo of the Cliffs of Moher, Ireland. Check out more of his work here.