PRAY MORE EARNESTLY
To pray more earnestly is to pray with sincere and intense conviction and to take any matter at hand seriously, by entreating the attention of God to it. It is to become unwavering and persistent in prayer, without any reduction in intensity or strength. Jesus, from the very beginning of His ministry on earth, displayed an unfaltering energy and determination for prayer and continued in the same measure till the end of His ministry, without loss of vigour.
Reference: Luke 22:44-46 English Standard Version (ESV) 'And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, and he said to them, "Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation."'
Are you sorrowful, afflicted, or in crisis? Are you passing through difficult and challenging times? Then you must rise up and pray. Running away from God in times of difficulties is running away from permanent solutions. James 5:13 (KJV) says, 'Is any among you afflicted? let him pray...' Even in this existential angst of human condition or the state of the world in general, rise and pray.
Prayer is an all-time fellowship with the Godhead. So you must learn to pray regardless of the situation. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (ESV) tells us to pray without ceasing. In other words, the quality of your prayer life must be unsurpassed. It should be unequalled or second to no other activities in your life, especially in excellence and frequency.
In the referenced scripture above, when Jesus was in agony, He prayed more earnestly. He didn't give up on prayer. He didn't go to bed to rest. He didn't watch cartoons or movies to make Him forget His impending agony. He didn't eat or drink anything to relieve His sorrow. Instead He chose to pray. And that's the best solution in times of extreme sorrow and discomfort.
Now let us look at His disciples. The Bible says, 'Jesus found them sleeping for sorrow', in spite of His evident longing for their cooperation in prayer. Though the disciples were sorrowful, they found sleeping as a solution and they went to rest. They slept to forget all that would take place, and seemingly, to secure their own ease and comfort. They possibly thought they would wake up with fresh minds or in another world. But it didn't work that way, instead it made them feel deceptively secure and confident.
Let us look at the recommendation of the Master. Jesus admonished them "Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation" (Luke 22:46 ESV). They were lulled to sleep during those timely moments when they should have been agonizing with their Master in prayer, and so arming themselves against the appointed or designated moment of temptation just coming upon them. In vain, they let the moments slip by; hence the hour of temptation came on them unawares.
It still happens to many Christians today. Many a time, they think and say, 'afterall there are many Christians praying and interceding for the same course; mine will not make much difference because I'm already covered by their utterances.' Beloved, even when many are praying, pray along. Even when you don't feel like praying, you must pray. Even if you feel you have no strength for prayer, you must pray, regardless. Even if you feel so disturbed to pray, you must pray, still and all. Even if you can hardly concentrate, pray anyhow. There is no alternative to prayer and that means, there's no room for excuse.
Remember, Phillipians 4:6 (NIV) reads, 'Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.' Therefore pray more earnestly.
Scripture Reading - 1 Samuel 12:23; Luke 18:1-8; Mark 13:32-37; 1 Thessalonians 3:10.
Exuberant Declaration: My prayer life is never out of season; it is in a frequent manner, observed with every element of desire, and it is relevant and effective in all circumstances. I'm a Spirit-led prayer addict, such that I live a life of sustained prayer without struggle. I'm confidently anxious for nothing and in every situation, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, I make my premeditated requests about families and friends, lost souls, surrounding neighborhoods, nations and their leaders, economies and resources, to God for dynamic progress. Thus I make tremendous power available for positive and permanent change in my world, to the glory of God. Hallelujah!