II Cor. 5:7 for we walk by faith, not by sight
This is the constant, everyday struggle of my Christian life. Pain, loss, suffering, confusion, feeling poor, weakness, being overwhelmed, helplessness, etc., all remind me of who I am and how much I need Jesus. (John 15:5 … apart from Me, you can do nothing.) I am motivated to pray when I’m feeling these things.
On the other hand, the temptation I face in the midst of God’s blessing is to take a little ‘credit’ for myself and slide into ‘cruise mode’, trust myself more, and ‘lean on my own understanding’ Prov. 3:5. This leads to not acknowledging Him in all my ways, but rather trying to figure things out on my own and a ‘do it myself’/’things will all work out ok’ mentality. For me this is particularly displayed by little praying.
It happens in every area – physical health, material wealth and comforts, and even in spiritual health and ministry-kingdom work. That’s why Jesus reminds us, “Blessed are the poor in spirit,…Matt. 5:3” as that attitude which is foundational to REAL (eternal) life.
This is exactly what happened to God’s chosen people – Israel, and sadly still happens to most of His children today, Deut. 8:11-18 ‘Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God… otherwise, when you have eaten and are satisfied, and have built good houses and lived in them,…and all that you have multiplies, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God who brought you out …of slavery… Otherwise, you may say in your heart, ’My power and the strength of my hand made me this wealth.’ But you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who is giving you power to make wealth,…
C.H. Spurgeon had some good counsel on this:
“We should pray when we’re in a praying mood because it would be sinful to neglect so fair an opportunity. We should pray when we’re not in a praying mood because it would be dangerous to remain in so unhealthy a condition.”