When I was in college, a friend referred to me as a man of prayer. That sounded so impressive, I have held onto it for decades. I like being called a man of prayer.
And so I have found myself spending time in prayer so that I can live up to that description. I want to be known as a man of prayer. But I see now that there little value in being known as a pray-er. Spending time on my knees does not really make me a pray-er any more than spending time the kitchen makes me a chef. I'm only a chef if I can prepare good food to eat.
I'm only a pray-er if I can see God at work through my prayers. I can only see God answer my prayers if I am specific in what I ask. I can only see God do great things through prayer, if I ask him to do great things.
I'm not so much interested in the reputation any more. I would rather see God's glory revealed in his power, as I ask him to do amazing things. That takes guts. It also takes a deeper relationship with him, so that I can know what amazing things to ask.
In all this, Jesus is drawing me closer to him. That's much better than flattery from my friends.