I'm always straining my neck to read church signs as we drive around the country. Some are funny. You know, like, "Don't wait for the hearse to take you to church." Or, "You think it's hot here, the weather in hell never changes." Yes, I laughed too, but cringed as well. Not likely to draw nonbelievers to Christ.
But one I saw lately read: "Seven days without prayer makes one weak." A play on words. I like those. Anyway, it led me here and there and around again with my thoughts. Is it prayer that actually makes you strong? No, I thought, it's Christ's strength. We're always weak, no matter how much we pray. Prayer can go no higher than the ceiling. But he's never weak. He's the source of strength.
Prayer is necessary, however. You remember in the Gospel of Mark when the disciples couldn't cast out the demon from the boy (Mark 9)? Jesus had given them authority over the demons, but this time they failed. When they asked him why, Jesus told them lack of prayer. They must have begun taking this power for granted, thinking they had this power within themselves. After all, they had been exorcising demons. What happened? They hadn't been prayerfully looking to God. That was a big mistake. Jesus is the source of our strength. When we try to go it on our own, we're in trouble. As someone said, "When you try to do it by your natural abilities alone, it's exhausting!" And, sometimes, it's impossible.