The Oasis - August 10, 2022

Author: Pastor Dan Hollis
August 10, 2022

     Why do we pray?
     In my personal life (that is, when I’m not praying as a part of my duties as a pastor), I find myself praying far more often when I needsomething than when I do not. I prayed for protection when I visited someone in the hospital the other day. I prayed for help finding something I had lost this week. I prayed for my computer to work properly after I rebooted it (it did, thanks be to God).
     All these things are worthy prayers. It is right to come before God with our needs, because to not is to say that we don’t need God in our lives (we do, thanks be to God.). But it’s no revolutionary revelation to acknowledge that prayer comes much more freely when we need something than when we do not. Not counting the casual thank Gods we say in our everyday lives, focused, intentional prayers of thanksgiving don’t come as naturally to us. That is to say, when life is chugging along the way it should, we don’t always feel as moved to pray as we do when everything’s falling apart.
     And why shouldn’t the good move us as much as the bad?
     When we lose our car keys, we tear the house apart looking for them, frantically searching because the consequences of not finding them are too frustrating to contemplate. Yet on a normal day when we know our car keys are sitting exactly where they should be, we’re nowhere near as passionate about it.
     This week I encourage you to be as excited about things that are going just fine—even just OK. And then, allow the good things in your life to spur you to prayer. Grab on to those moments of happiness, even if they are at times fleeting, and let them power your core just as much as desperation does. Acknowledge how much the blessings in your life change your life—and how much they would change your life if you lost them—and let contentment no longer be passive, but active.
     Join me in trying to remember to pray prayers of thanksgiving more often and more freely, until they come just as naturally as the other kind. I’m interested to see how that might change my daily life. Maybe you are too.


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