“Obstacle and Breakthroughs In Developing Intimacy with the Lord”
One of the deepest desires of my heart is to be a man of prayer; I want to be a man in love with Jesus every day. People that have found ways to be discipline in their intimacy with the Lord truly impress me. I desperately need prayer. When I don’t pray I am loud, aggressive, too straightforward, rude, intolerant and with little consideration for how my words and my facial expressions are affecting the person in front of me. It is amazing to me, but as I said before, I believe that every Christian is bipolar. As I get older I become more sensitive to my inner struggle between the Spirit of God and my flesh; the fight in the inside of me is brutal (Galatians 5:17).
Without prayer our Christian experience on this earth is in constant jeopardy. Without prayer there is very little power, very little Spiritual hygiene, very little revelation and very little spirituality in our daily walk. In Luke 10:38-42 we see a very famous story; it is the story of two sisters who approach Jesus in two different ways. They both knew the Lord; they both love the Lord and they both wanted to serve the Lord. The story goes like this:
“Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42) NKJV
- Distraction with much to do: The American society actually teaches us to stay busy. Staying busy is a good thing; working is a good thing; after all, the Bible tells us that if we don’t work we don’t deserve to eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10) But that same Bible tells us that there is time for everything (Ecclesiastes 3:1) Martha, like many of us, found herself distracted with much to do. The word distracted here means: “Mentally confuse”. We work, we come home, we start dinner, we get on our computers, we check our e-mails, we go on Facebook, we watch TV, etc. and just like that, our days are over and we stay in our confusion. Without quality time with the Lord we are unable to think with the mind of Christ.
- Focus on what others are and are not doing: Martha went to Jesus to complaint about Marry. Many of us that have lived long enough know that when we take our eyes off Jesus and place our focus on men, we are up to an exhausting and frustrating process. This is indeed a major obstacle in the process of developing a prayer life.
- The worries of this world: The word Worry here means “Choke or strangle”. When we are being choked it affects our breathing and if the choke holds long enough it can be deadly. Well, it is hard to talk when we are being choke by someone or on a peace of chicken. I was at the Wal-Mart’s parking lot in Ahoskie the other day, eating lunch in my van before starting my Martial Arts Classes. Out of nowhere an old co-worker that I have not seen in some time, knock at my window. He look at first like he was crying, but I quickly realize that he was choking. I got out of my van and, thankfully, he was able to and soon the choke was over. It is very difficult to focus on prayer when we find ourselves choke-up by the worries of this life: job, unemployment, children, marital issues, divorces, diverse conflicts, health issues, late bills, etc.
- Our trouble minds: Jesus told Martha that she was trouble; the word trouble here means easily annoyed by petty provocation. This one is a big one in my life; when I am not praying and not seeking the Lord everything bothers and irritates me very easily.
So by now, you probably found these obstacle affecting your own relationship with the Lord. So then, what is the solution? How can we begin to develop a rich and fulfilling relationship with the Lord?
In these verse Jesus gives us three basic answers as the solution for our struggles in developing a better relationship with Him:
- We must pray for a deep revelation that at the end of the day “Prayer” is the most important thing we can do as Christians: Jesus said that spending time with Him was indeed the only thing really needed on this earth. I believe that is the difference between the great men of prayer like John Wesley and William J. Seymour and many of us today; they knew what was really important. I am afraid that we allow the obstacle of prayer to have victory over us every day, but the day we realize that prayer is not just a religious exercise, but also a matter of life and death, many of us will also start developing our own successful prayer life.
- To develop a relationship with Christ in prayer is a choice: Jesus said: “Mary has chosen that good part…” We must also know that choosing to pray is the Good Part; but we continue to make excuses and look at prayer as a task and not as a necessary way of life. We can’t wait until we feel like it; we must make a choice to pray every day.
- We must understand that praying is not a waste of time, but indeed the only thing that can’t be taken away from us in this world: When we get ready to die we can’t take our jobs with us, our cars, house, money, family, etc. but our prayers will remain. Prayer is nonnegotiable; it can’t be taken away from us.
There is a great resistance against prayer, even among us as Christians; we rather do than to pray. However, we must understand that there will not be a revival until the people of God truly start praying for something more than just the meal they are about to eat.