I was leading a discussion group the other day and one of the women admitted to me that she had taken a few steps back in her relationship with Jesus. A short while back, she had been going through some really tough trials. Her children had been placed in foster care and she was working towards getting them back. She was trying to find a job and transportation, and an apartment for them to come home to, all while keeping up with the parenting and other classes she was required to complete. On top of this, she had a major health problem. So she cried out to God, desperate in her distress. She cried out time and time again, and was amazed to see her prayers answered one by one….the job, the car, the apartment, the return of her children to her custody. As things got easier and her life flowed more smoothly, her desperation waned, as did her desperate cries to Jesus. As she admitted this to me, she also said she wanted to get back to that place of closeness with her Savior.
Isn’t this such a typical story? Jesus is always at the forefront of our minds when we need him, when we are desperate for help. We cry out. We plead for his mercy and grace. We beg for his provision and understanding. We seek his help and direction. Then, as our prayers get answered and our anxieties dissipate, we cry out less and less. Those desperate “multiple times a day” prayers turn into “once a day” or “every few days” prayers, and Jesus’ place of importance in our lives takes a real hit.
I am of the opinion that we should pray those desperate prayers every day. They should not depend upon desperate situations in our lives, but on our desperate need for Jesus Christ. Our prayer of desperation every day should be that we remain connected to him and he to us.
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)
When we stay connected to Jesus, our vine, we will experience so much more fruit in our lives, so much more joy and peace. It is through that connection to him that we are able to accomplish and achieve, and make a difference in the lives of others. Without that connection, the meaning of life diminishes. Our prayer should be a desperate attempt to cling daily to that vine, and not to be a branch that withers and wastes away.
What are you desperate for? What is the priority in your life that you cannot live without? Is it Jesus or is it the things of the world?
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:33)
By keeping Jesus as your priority, by being desperate in your desire for a true relationship with him, he blesses you in so many ways. He adds the brilliant light and tremendous richness to your life that isn’t achievable in any other way, or by any other means. It is the kind of contentment that comes only through knowing and loving him.
When you think of your typical day, does it include moments of stillness with the Savior? Are there times set aside to read his word and converse with him on an intimate level? Do you stop and thank him for each blessing you experience? Is his presence ever present on your mind? Are your prayers desperate….desperate for his love, desperate for his grace, desperate for his guidance?
My advice to the woman that day was to never lose that sense of desperation. I advised her to seek Jesus above all else in her life. I warned her about letting outside things come before her relationship with the Lord. I assured her that she was not being a bad mother if her kids didn’t come first in her life; that they had their own place of priority AFTER Jesus. No job, friend, family member, or anything else should take a place of priority over the One who sacrificed it all for us. I love what John 10:30 tells us, “I and the Father are one.” Jesus isn’t telling us that he and the Father are in the same group, or even that they are a pair. He is saying they are ONE. That means nothing gets in the way of that relationship. That is how we should focus on our relationship with the Lord. We should be desperate for that relationship, above all else. Are you?
The enemy wants to pull us away from our sweet Jesus. He wants us to have that void in our hearts and lives. With God, we have the ultimate victory over Satan and his lies.
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:57)
We have the victory! We are more than conquerors! 2 Corinthians 10:4 tells us, “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.” Our victory doesn’t come from anything we do on our own. It comes from the power of Jesus Christ alive in our hearts.
Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. (James 5:13). Sing loud the praises of the One who bought your sin. And when you are in need, pray that desperate prayer for provision. Through it all….the highs and the lows, the joys and the sorrows….never forget to pray in desperation that the Lord will help you keep him as the priority in your heart and the light of your life. Desperate prayers are heard by a devoted King.