Have you ever felt little desire to pray and ask God for help. It happens to me when I am being tempted. I know if I pray then God will expect me to fight the good fight, even though I know I’ll eventually succumb. I think of it as “no desire to desire God.” At these times I occupy my mind with useless thoughts trying to cause a diversion (TV, a video game). Instead of this helping, I am left defenseless against temptation. Addictions are like this—the desire is for the habit and there is no desire for much else. At that moment, the thought of praying seems to tighten the screws of shame.
I know part of prayer is to get rid our desires for the things of this world and be wholly devoted to to Jesus. Easy to say, but frankly beyond my reach.
Jesus ran into a man with this problem:
Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. “There is still one thing you haven’t done,” he told him. “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
At this the man’s face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions. Mark 10:21-22 NLT
Whoa, could I do what Jesus asked that man to do? Being honest, I must admit I cannot…I need help. More than just a little lift, I need a complete transformation. “Yeah, right. How is that going to happen?” I say this as I begin to turn away. Stop! The story isn’t finished, for the Lord knows my weakness and mercifully follows this man’s story with these words.
Those who heard this said, “Then who in the world can be saved?”
He replied, “What is impossible for people is possible with God.” Mark 10:26-27 NLT
For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. Philippians 2:13 NLT
God wants to bring forth in us an overwhelming all encompassing desire for Him, and He offers the power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish this. All we can do is ask for the desire to desire Him above all.
So rejoice along with the psalmist:
Whom have I in heaven but you?
I desire you more than anything on earth.
My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
but God remains the strength of my heart;
he is mine forever. Psalm 73:25-26