But then, it seems God brings me through great seasons of prayer and I realize again the importance of praying. Just today I was thinking, “Why do I need to learn these lessons so many times? Why can’t I just learn it once?”
And then it hit me.
I don’t have to learn lessons on prayer. I don’t have to learn lessons about reading my Bible. I don’t have to learn lessons on the benefits of the other spiritual disciplines. I just need to grow in my love for God. Period.
If I know God, then I will love God. If I love God then it will be the constant desire of my heart to be in his presence and seeking his favour; so I will pray. It will be the passion of my life to know him and be known by him; so I will read his word with desperation and longing.
I don’t need to learn to pray. I need to love my God more.
And how can I love him more? Only by knowing him better. But how can I know him better? I can’t open my eyes and see him… I can’t reach out and touch him… I can’t taste or smell him… I can’t hear his voice…
To know God, I am entirely dependent on him. Like Jesus told Peter, only the Spirit of God can reveal the nature of God to men. And like Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, the natural man cannot understand things which are spiritually discerned.
Even if I tried to obey on my own strength, without the love of God, my works would count for nothing. I would be a hopeless pharisee.
So I am dependent on God to reveal himself to me, so that I will know him, which will lead to increased love of him, which will lead to prayer and obedience. So I must pray that God would reveal himself to me!
And in all this where is my pride? It is telling me that I can live on my own strength. Satan knows that if I am prayerless, I cannot know God. If I don’t know God I won’t love God. If I don’t love God I won’t pray and I won’t obey.
How desperately dependent I am! And that is the one lesson I need to learn.