When Philip Yancey started exploring the subject of prayer for his book, he interviewed ordinary people. “Typically, the results went like this: Is prayer important to you? Oh, yes. How often do you pray? Every day. Approximately how long? Five minutes – well, maybe seven. Do you find prayer satisfying? Not really. Do you sense the presence of God when you pray? Occasionally, not often. Many of those I talked to experienced prayer more as a burden than as a pleasure.” (Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference? p14)
Our own answers might differ from those interviewed, but the questions highlight challenges we all face. Freedom in Christ opens up areas of responsibility we weren’t able to step into before. But it’s a freedom-journey that takes us beyond the familiar orbit of duty. Prayer is much too pivotal to confine to a must-do list. The Lord offers us the enjoyment of himself and the more we grow in this, the more the ‘want to pray’ overtakes the ‘must pray’.