More than Just Barking

dreambigNehemiah 1:4-11

Determined to Pray

A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I were lying in bed. As she typically does, she held out her hand. I knew that to be my signal to take her hand and pray. We’ve done things this way for years. When I don’t move on the signal, she gets a trifle irritated with me.

On the night in question, though, something unique happened. Bo, our standard poodle, leaped up onto our bed. This he does from time to time, usually settling in at the foot of the bed for a few minutes. Since he is clean and doesn’t shed, we find the habit charming. This time, though, Bo went farther. He crept up between us and toward our joined hands. Then he put a fuzzy paw on our hands, almost as if he intended to join us in the prayer.

After laughing at Bo’s newfound devotion, we thought a bit about the pointlessness of a dog praying or making prayer-like movements. On the other hand, I must admit, sometimes our prayers are only slightly more genuine. Sometimes we view prayer as a task to be ticked off the to-do list. We’re obligated to pray rather than determined to pray.

When we are determined to pray, our inmost thoughts will ascend powerfully to God. Otherwise, we might as well be Bo, yapping in the backyard at the rising moon.

  • Does your prayer life reflect a determination to pray or merely a habit or not even that?
  • What obstacles stand in the way of your prayer life reaching its potential? What sacrifices are you willing to make to overcome them?
  • What important matters in your personal life, your family life, your church life, or other areas deserve a greater determination to prayer from you?