The Struggle For Prayer

dead opossum, shovel 005The well worn metal shovel felt heavy and the driveway seemed much longer and wider than usual. The snow was packed down and several inches thick. I breathed in the cold, early morning air, and felt a spring-like determination. The sun was up and the forecast promised temperatures in the twenties, for the first time in very long time. I knew that with some effort on my part and the warming sun, all this snow and ice would be melted by evening. I headed toward the end of the driveway, where snowplows had thrown me the biggest challenge and tires worn down the once light and fluffy stuff.

The shovel grew heavier with each load I tried to move aside. I had not even made it once across the span of the driveway when I realized how solid the snow really was. I dug in. With my foot planted on the top of the shovel, I started to dig. Inch by inch I pressed into the white and cracked the snow. At first, I saw little point in it, especially when I considered how far I had to go. But then something happened, with persistent pressure the ice started to crack underneath and large pieces of packed snow split. It took some effort, but two hours later, the driveway was cleared of most snow. Now the sun could do the rest.

This intense exercise reminded me of my prayer life. I realized how much discipline my prayers require. Too often I get frustrated with what seems impossible. Not only is discouragement a big issue, but I also need to overcome my laziness and unbelief.

God has given me incredible gifts when it comes to prayer. The Holy Spirit and Jesus’ sacrifice allow me to dig in. Through the Word I get to know God. Through prayer I get to know His presence. He is fully capable of running the universe without my feeble words (He even melts driveways without my pour shoveling efforts), but in His sovereign love for me, He asks me to join Him. Through the discipline of prayer, I get to know HIM.

“It’s not prayer that is strenuous, but the overcoming of our own laziness. If we make the basis of prayer our effort and agony, we mistake the basis of prayer. The basis of prayer is not what it cost us, but what it cost God to enable us to pray.”
(Oswald Chambers)

snowy February morning 033Father, thank You for allowing me to approach
Your throne with assurance that You hear me.
Thank You for Jesus who made it possible for me to be heard.
Thank You for His sacrifice and for the Holy Spirit.
LORD, teach me to persevere in the pursuit of Your will in prayer.
~~~
1 Timothy 2:1-8
~~~
(Heidi Viars, 2014)

About Heidi Viars

“If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth ...” ― C.S. Lewis ..... In my pursuit of self, I found utter darkness. In my pursuit of truth, I found Jesus, who dispelled the darkness by His forgiveness. Now I follow Him and try to understand Him better. I am a wife, mother of 6, blogger and love taking photographs of sunrises.
This entry was posted in Christian Poetry, Devotional, Ponderings, Prayer, Revival and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to The Struggle For Prayer

  1. sf says:

    Wow, I was just commenting on another blog about Oswald Chambers and here you are quoting him! Awesome! Wonderful post on the challenges and the power in prayer. In this day and age, it sure gets harder and harder to stay still to pray – and wait again. Wonderful reminder this post!

  2. Thank you, Heidi, for this encouragement to persist in prayer. Your story gives me a visualization of faith clearing the way for answers to arrive. My kids and I find prayers for unsaved relatives that “heaviest” to do; perhaps it’s because they are so important. We are in an invisible battle.

    Blessings ~ Wendy ☘

    • Heidi Viars says:

      I think that often the difficult things are the things worth pursuing 🙂 Thank you so much for taking time to come by, read, and comment! You are much appreciated, Wendy!

  3. Nancy Ruegg says:

    I believe it was Elizabeth Elliott (wife of one of the missionaries murdered by Auca Indians in Ecuador in the 1950s) who wrote about prayer being WORK. I was surprised to read such a statement from a true heroine of the faith. You’d think prayer would be easy for such a saint! But her honesty gave me much encouragement. Prayer takes effort for even the most mature Christian. Yet
    the results can be amazing–pathways smoothed, problems solved, miracles bestowed! Prayer gives us the opportunity to be a part of GOD’S work.

    Thank you, Heidi, for bringing these thoughts to mind with your shoveling-analogy!

    • Heidi Viars says:

      Elisabeth Elliott is one of my heroes. Yes, prayer does take effort. I must admit that writing about it comes easier to me than finding myself in the disciplined heart of prayer. Thanks for your always kind comment and always encouraging posts!!!

  4. melodylowes says:

    Much more than a few words here and there. isn’t it? Sometimes we must buckle in and get down to business… Thanks Heidi~!

  5. Rene Yoshi says:

    It’s true that laziness is sometimes a reason not to pray. But there have been times when I want to pray but feel discouraged and have to rebuke the devil for trying to get me to believe God doesn’t hear my prayers. Or when I feel unworthy because of sin, I have to remind myself, as you said that Christ did the work that opened the way and gives us access to the throne. \(^_^)/

    • Heidi Viars says:

      You are right, the enemy has also stake in us not praying … I suppose even more reason to get more disciplined 🙂 Thank you so much for stopping in, Rene. You are an encouragement to me!

  6. vonhonnauldt says:

    I can identify both with your battle with what the snowplows moved onto your driveway and with what you say about your prayer life. For only the eighth time in about 120 years, our area has had more than 100″ of snow this winter. It’s piled up everywhere. On the packed down snow, I find a square bladed shovel works a lot better than a snow shovel. As for the other, well, still working on that. Thanks for this post.

    • Heidi Viars says:

      I think you are right about the shovel … the plastic onces are light, but hardly do the job when it comes to packed down snow … Spring is on its way … I think 🙂
      Blessings to you, brother … hope you have a restful weekend

      • vonhonnauldt says:

        Thank you, dear sister. It was 45 degrees yesterday and sunny, snowing today and only 30. That’s still better than flirting with zero or below as we have a lot of this year.

        God’s best to you.

  7. pattisj says:

    It is nice to have the street plowed, but it does create a barrier that needs to be broken through. Liked your analogy to prayer.

    • Heidi Viars says:

      I am so grateful, Patti, to Lord for His provisions when it comes to prayer. What a God we serve, who asks us to join Him in His work through prayer… it’s pretty amazing when you think about it!

  8. Love this analogy to prayer. The task can seem overwhelming…thanks for the encouragement and fresh perspecitve!

  9. I don’t have to shovel. I live in an apartment. But I feel for you, and I get the message about being lazy in prayer. It takes persistent work.

    • Heidi Viars says:

      Thanks, Stephen… I do appreciate all your posts and teaching on prayer! I am so grateful the Lord gave us all we need to persist in the work 🙂 Hope you have a good weekend!

  10. A timely word of encouragement, sister! Prayer and faith have been on my heart lately. I struggle with discouragement too, thinking that what I am asking of The Lord is just too impossible. I know … wrong thoughts, and God makes sure to remind me that all things are possible with Him.

    • Heidi Viars says:

      Thanks so much for reading! Yes, with Him truly all things are possible. Hope you have a restful weekend … filled with glimpses of His mighty presence and a real awareness of His love for you 🙂

  11. Bless you for writing this today. Time to take time out, sit and praise Him for His creation; pray for friends and lift up special people who cast His light and love on those who need it. Thank you, Heidi.

    • Heidi Viars says:

      Be blessed sister, as you pray, write, and point others to Lord. I am enjoying some cherry blossoms on my laptop background … reminding me today to keep my heart set on the hope we have in Jesus 🙂

      • Glad you enjoyed the pic; hope is something we cannot do without. On days the sun shines through my window, I am reminded of His love and hope, so beautifully offers as a a gift of grace. Be well, my friend.

  12. Mel Wild says:

    I know all about the shoveling! Ahhh! But now it is melting here too. We’ve got temps in the 40’s. Yay! Winter is losing its grip, springtime is upon us.

    Great insights on prayer. Thanks for sharing this. And exert with care when you’re shoveling the wet stuff. 🙂 Blessings.

    • Heidi Viars says:

      43 here now … WOW… I feel like planting something (well, I think that will be a while yet 🙂 ) … Thanks, Mel, for your words of encouragement! Have a wonderful weekend and glorious Lord’s Day!

      • Mel Wild says:

        LOL! My wife and I were just talking about that! It felt like spring when it got up into the 20’s for us after this extremely cold winter! I think 40′ is short-sleeve weather now. 🙂 Our sons live in Washington state and they complain when it gets down to 40. It’s all in our perspective I guess. Could probably learn something from that about prayer too. You have blessed weekend also.

  13. Your shoveling sounded grueling. Hope you aren’t too sore. Nice analogy Heidi. We think that we must do the work by praying, but what Christ did by tearing open the veil of separation was the real battle. Thanks

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