A devotional by Reverend Dr. Kevin Schwamb
Recently I picked up a small book on prayer by Ole Hallesby, a seminary professor in Oslo during World War II. Like the Apostle Paul, he spent time in prison because of his faith and taught others what genuine prayer should look like. Ole’s style of writing is simple and straightforward, yet you often need to stop and put the book down to digest the importance of what he is saying.
The prophet Isaiah writes, “Before they call I will answer. While they are still speaking I will hear.” The verb call indicates an address aimed at a specific recipient which is intended to elicit a specific response. This definition of prayer prompts Ole to ask, “What attitude does God recognize in prayer?” The answer is that God desires an attitude of helplessness and faith. Prayer that is heard by God, and honors Him, begins with the confession that each one of us is helpless. We approach the Lord in prayer, not because we have it all together or have problem-free lives but, because we recognize our desperate condition. At the same time, our helpless position is countered by a confident faith which is an assurance that God exists and He does reward those who diligently put their trust in Him.
So, don’t wait until you think you have it all together before you reach out to the Lord in prayer. Feeling completely helpless when you pray and trusting in God’s promises is exactly what true prayer is all about. Admit to Him that you need His help!