How often do our prayers consist of a practiced ritual instead of a genuine pouring out of ourselves to God?

How often do we actually see the pain and struggles of others and mourn for them, covering our floor or our pillow with tears about others and not just ourselves?

I am worn out from sobbing. All night I flood my bed with weeping, drenching it with my tears.
Psalms 6:6 NLT
http://bible.com/116/psa.6.6.NLT

We are called to mourn with those who are in mourning, not tell them they should just cheer up and get over it – not just share some Bible verse about encouragement and feel like we’ve been a good Christian.

Romans 12:15
Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.

Proverbs 25:20
Singing cheerful songs to a person with a heavy heart is like taking someone’s coat in cold weather or pouring vinegar in a wound.

I see friends and fellow Christians in pain. I see them suffering. I see them mourning over lost loved ones. I see them hurting from separation from the ones they love.

Our prayers aren’t meant to be  a laundry list of genie wishes spoken with no real connection or concern, “God, help X to find peace over the loss of her father. God, help Y trust in you even through the loss of her daughter. God, help Z to not give up hope even though his daughter will not have any part in his life. God, help Q who is struggling in the isolation of jail/prison and misses his family dearly.”

Real kingdom prayer is heartfelt.

Yes, real kingdom prayer takes work.

It is a demonstration of faith and the exercise of prayer is bring us closer to God and is meant to change us. Do we not know that prayer is communing with God? That it is sitting down to share a meal with the Lord,  God,  creator of all things. How can we come into the presence of the Lord and not be touched,  not be changed.

I wonder how few times we of this wicked and rebellious generation actually enter into prayer instead of just tossing our wishes towards God like pennies into a well.

How few times do we actually plead with the Lord?

I’m not pointing the finger outwards,  friends. I can admit that sometimes, my prayers result in puddled tears before the Lord – but many times, I let my body tell me that I am too weary. I end up like the disciples who kept falling asleep in the garden at Gethsemane when Christ asked them to pray with Him.

Isaiah 40:31
But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.

Yes, He strengthens me. He teaches me. There is a lesson to be learned and applied in my life. And it is this – see the pain of my brothers and sisters. Feel it and share in it. Help carry their burdens. But if we never actually take on their burdens by trying to understand the great pain and struggle they are under, how can we say that we are sharing in their burdens? Put ourselves in their shoes and know their pain,  let it soften our hardened hearts so that we might know the love of Christ who took on our own burdens.

Galatians 6:2
Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.

Loving God and others completely fulfills the law of Christ, because all the law and all the words of the prophets hang on the two commands –

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
Matthew 22:37-40 NLT
http://bible.com/116/mat.22.37-40.NLT

And since we cannot see God, but we can demonstrate this love to others to bring Him honor and glory:

Galatians 5:14
For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Lord, teach us to bear each others burdens. Father God, soften our hearts when we dedicate ourselves to you in prayer. Holy Spirit, teach us how to love like Christ. Teach us how to pray.