When life is good our natural response is to pray less. If all of our needs are met, our families and finances are in order, and we’re in great health we seem to lose our need for communion with God. When we are in dire need it becomes easy to spend time in prayer. It’s much easier to ask for help when we really need it. When our problems become bigger than us we look to God. This lifestyle will end up looking more like a rollercoaster with never ending ups and downs.
The problem is that there is a lag time between our spiritual life and physical life. I call this “riding the prayer-coaster”. I was stuck on it for the better part of a year, mostly because I was unaware of what I was doing. It’s not a fun ride and I don’t want any of you to be stuck like I was. It’s easy because that’s what our human nature does, if we don’t have a problem we don’t need God. We want Him to be a vending machine we can go to whenever we need something quick.
Often times what we experience today is a result of the decisions we made weeks ago. We can spend time in prayer and watch our life gradually improve, if then we stop, or our prayer life weakens, our life will continue improving before we experience the negative effects. Then the downhill will continue even if we start making positive changes. Here’s a simple illustration to grasp this reality.
You’ll notice that our natural response to the quality of our life increasing is to pray less. This is not what God intends for us! This is an example of the principle of sowing and reaping. When we sow faith, prayer, righteousness, and communion with God we reap His benefits. When we start to reap the benefits we can disregard the importance of sowing more seed. Then when the good harvest eventually runs out we’re left with no seed that’s growing, forcing us into lack, impatience, and frustration. We get frustrated that the seed we plant this morning isn’t growing, when we should have been planting three weeks ago!
Paul gives us some sound advice here saying we should “Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests” Ephesians 6:18 and Peter tells us that we should “be sober-minded and self-controlled for the purpose of prayer [staying balanced and focused on the things of God]” 1 Peter 4:7 (Amp).
God’s desire is to walk with us on a gradual uphill journey. There will be setbacks and difficult seasons, but if we’re stuck on this prayer-coaster the ups and downs are never ending, they wear us out and limit our potential in life. The type of your prayer will change during different seasons, ranging from being more focused on requests or spiritual warfare to thanksgiving and praise. We need to pray in all circumstances, in every season of life.
Prayer is our two way communication with God and He desires a balance in our relationship. God doesn’t want to answer your prayers and then not hear from you for a month. God doesn’t want a relationship built on what He does for us, it’s built on who He is and who we are.If you have been experiencing what feels like a rollercoaster of life circumstances you can make the section to get off today. “Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant.” Galatians 6:7.
If you want to start experiencing a different life you need to start planting different habits. God is a respecter of His principles, not people. If you follow the principles that God set up you will see the reward no matter who you are.