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Procrastination: Part 3

Procrastinating out of guilt

How often do I hesitate, or procrastinate, to take my needs to God? Why do I hesitate to pray? I may quickly go to a friend or family member and try to talk-through the problem or try to work it out on my own. I try to fix the mess and what typically happens in my case is the mess gets bigger. Eventually I have no possible solutions left. I heard Dr. David Jeremiah say in a recent message on Turning Point something along the lines of people have a tendency to say, after exhausting all possible solutions, "Well, I guess all that is left is prayer." Why do we tend to do all else THEN pray? Why not pray first? Well, to pray to God is to approach the throne and ask the Creator to give provision of which we know we are not worthy to receive. Maybe, we must acknowledge some sin that we just don't want to confess. Confession is not easy, am I right? I will tell you I am more comfortable telling a friend that I was wrong in a recent conflict with my spouse whereas, admitting my error to my husband, that's a bit more of a struggle!

I have looked upon My people, because their cry has come to Me.-1 Samuel 9:16b, ESV

The Message translation of 1 Sam. 9:16 says, "I've heard their cries for help." Now, I know God already knows all our needs, but we are still instructed to pray. Matthew 6:8 says Our Father knows what we need before we ask Him. So, why is it important we pray? If I procrastinate in prayer, it shouldn't make any difference, hm? Wrong. There is a break in the relationship.

Let me explain it in a the parent-child sense: As a parent, I will provide my child with all of his or her basic needs. I love my child and I know my child loves me. However, there are times when a distance forms between the parent and child, an emotional barrier, brought on by the child's disobedience. If the child does not see the wrong that was done (acknowledge), admit it was wrong (confess), and promise to do his or her best to not do it again (turn from sin), then the parent is less likely to hear the pleading of the child for that special favor, special activity, or special gift. It doesn't mean the parent doesn't want to give a gift to their child, oh no. It brings great joy, I know it does to me, to give a gift and to see the child's face light up with excitement and appreciation. But bad choices cannot be rewarded with gifts. Also, when gifts are received prior to confession, how can there be a change in bad behavior and how can there be a restored relationship?

That example is certainly born from the human mind, and I do not claim to understand how God thinks as a parent in regards to His children, but scripture does tell us to approach Him with humble hearts, pray, and turn away from our sins (Matthew 6:14). It is when we do our part, approaching the throne, that He will hear our prayers (vs. 15). Yet, we procrastinate. We shy away from kneeling before God because of our shame and guilt. By doing so, we are left with our messes, our questions, our struggles, and our anxieties.

Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. -Rom. 8:26 ESV

Stop procrastinating. Stop hesitating. Stop saying, "I need to pray about this. Really pray about it." Do it! You feel like a guilty child having to go to your Father and say you are sorry? Well, YOU ARE THAT CHILD. I am that child! Guess what, though, you are not perfect and that is precisely why Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice so that YOU CAN go to the Father. Since Jesus ascended to Heaven, we have each, as believers in Christ, received the joy of knowing we have an Intercessor to speak our needs to the Father, even when we do not know the words to speak. This same Holy Spirit that intercedes on my behalf and on yours also intercedes on behalf of the saints (vs. 27)! While this fact should humble us, it should also remind us how important we are to God. It's like having the best attorney money can buy, the one that always says exactly what the Judge needs to hear in order to win your case.

So, what are you waiting for? No hesitation. Just go to your knees, bow your head, confess the sin, get right with God, and through the Holy Spirit, make your requests known.

To procrastinate on prayer is to procrastinate on peace and to increase stress.

Do yourself a favor...pray.

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