When God provides people with a gift, His people often have a terrible time accepting the blessing. The garden of Eden was the ideal place, but by Genesis chapter two we learn of how Adam and Eve ruined it. Israel’s leaders were given an amazing country and a privileged responsibility, but the prophet Ezekiel had to scold them for only taking care of themselves (Ez. 34:2). Moreover, all Christian believers have spiritual gifts, but Paul still had to warn Timothy about the possibility of neglecting these gifts (1 Tim 4:14).
Prayer is one of the incredible gifts that God has given us, but unfortunately we tend to ruin it. The Israelites had knowledge of Almighty God, but the nation had a constant battle with idolatry and offered their prayers in the same way as the neighboring pagan nations. The religious leaders in Jesus’ day turned prayer into a time of grandstanding. They used it as a time to bring attention to themselves by demonstrating their eloquence, piety, and education. In the book of James, the early church was turning prayer into a time to ask for selfish needs and wants.
If you are having trouble with prayer, think of God’s greatness and power. Trust that you have a creator who wants to talk to you and put His hand on your life. If we would only set aside false beliefs about God, our own agendas, and our pride, we would experience God in ways that are greater than we can ask or imagine. We should humble ourselves to begin to see circumstances in accordance with His will. When this happens, God will direct our path in surprising ways that require faith, but these circumstances will stretch us and bless us as we step closer toward our potential and created purpose.