I had a professor in college named Bill who taught my missiology class when he was home on furlough from Chad. I’ve thought about Bill a lot lately. Even though he was my favorite teacher at the time, I’m just now realizing how humble of a leader he actually was.
He was one of those teachers who had a bazillion years of experience yet loved being in the classroom because he still considered himself a student. He created more questions than lessons, and told story after story after incredible story. Only on rare occasions would Bill give us direct instruction. One such time he said there was one regret he had as a missionary. The one thing he would change if he could do it all over again was that he would pray more. This man who we knew prayed a lot said if you don’t get anything out of this class but this one thing, here it is: pray more. And when you’re done, pray again.
James talks about prayer. Are you suffering hardships? Pray. Are you happy? Pray prayers of praise. Are you sick? Pray for healing. Pray pray pray pray pray. Repeat.
But there’s a catch: God opposes the proud and favors the humble.
In chapter 4, James draws attention to a chasm that exists. On one side, we can ask for anything, absolutely anything, and it will be granted. On the other hand, if we ask with selfish motives then the whole deal is off. Apparently, there is a distinction between fruitful faith and fruitless faith.
My prayer is that we would grow in humility. We can only do that by the grace of God. We should also pray for more prayers! Have you ever thought about what God is waiting for us to pray so that he can answer? That’s going to require humility; it’s so far beyond our preferences for ourselves.
My challenge for you today is to have a dreaming hour sometime this week. Take an hour, or whatever chunk of time you have, and ask God about what prayers you should be praying. Examine your heart and your motives. Repent of pride, ask for humility, and pray away…