Let’s talk about prayer for a minute. #prayer
Before I continue, let me be clear. As I mention prayer, I’m referring to designated, set aside time that includes Bible Study and communion (through prayer) with Jesus Christ.
I’m NOT referring to praying in your car on your way to work.
Nor am I referring to the times you run into the bathroom and pray for a few seconds while you pee.
I am NOT referring to a fleeting thought in which you tag on the word “Lord” and consider yourself having prayed that day.
I’m talking about what some call “devotions”, what others call “quiet time” and what my grandma used to call “time with the Lord”.
I’m talking about the block of time a mature (or maturing) Christian sets aside during her day to be alone with, learn from and hear from God. I’m talking about communion, Girl.
Clear? Good. Let’s continue on.
Now is a great time to say, I’m not big on comparisons. My all too wise husband often says “comparisons are useless in a world of individuals. I agree.
Comparing your prayer time (especially it’s duration) is a waste of energy. It’s childish and it’s carnal. Prayer time is personal and customized by the Holy Spirit. One season you may pray hours at a time (literally, I remember the old saints doing this on Tuesday mornings). Other times, prayer last only 30 minutes of your quiet time.
So, I don’t compare myself to others. I don’t even compare myself to myself. Things change too often.
Regardless how long or how frequent you pray; it’s easy to grow complacent and lazy.
Doing the same things, the same way at the same time can grow monotonous. I personally believe relationship (even ours with God) needs monitoring and tweaking. God doesn’t need us to designate prayer time as much as our sensibilities need it. In other words, we don’t pray to do God any favors, but praying can put us in God’s favor.
Prayer is the cornerstone of our Christian walk. Without it, life’s challenges can make us grow dull, weak and defeated. It’s like a spiritual IV that supplies much needed nourishment and medication. It delivers what we need to get us through our daily lives. It also strengthens us and gives us direction. We can’t do without it – plain and simple.
I challenge you (and myself) to progress past mindlessly talking to God and rattling off a laundry list of wants needs and hope to gets. I further challenge us all to advance toward falling in love with Him all over again.
Hearing Him speak. Listening…waiting…noticing…admiring…
The first step in falling in love with Jesus again is to designate time with Him. Look, I know you’re busy, but must find the time. Just like you must find the time to brush your teeth or take a shower. For your own good, I pray you’re not too busy for either of those activities. Similarly, you can’t be too busy for time alone with God-free of telephones, TVs, kids and tablets. This time energizes you and provides the strength you need for current struggles and the battles ahead.
The second step is to ask the Holy Spirit to help you. Aaaah…the precious Holy Spirit. He will guide you in connecting or reconnecting with your Heavenly Father. Obey as He leads you in a journey through scripture. He directs you and helps you to make your request. He intercedes for you according to God’s will. He will also let you know when you should just sit…say nothing and bask in the presence of the Most High. This happens to me sometimes during prayer. God teaches me to just be still. No asking, no worship, just stillness in His most Holy presence. Yes, He is an absolutely necessary part of your Christian experience. Seek Him and allow Him to guide you to your first love.
The third step is to confess your sin of complacency (and any other sins lingering in your life). You know, I think there is far too little teaching on confession and repentance in today’s church. Confessing our sins to the Lord keeps our hearts sensitive to God’s laws and ways. If we ignore sins, we grow hard-hearted and we set ourselves up to do it again and again. Sin unconfessed is often sin repeated.
It’s kind of like a spot on your carpet. When you first notice it, you’re appalled, almost irritated by it. But, if it stays there long enough, you get used to it. It becomes “normal” and before long you don’t even notice it at all. It becomes just a normal part of the room. The same goes with sin.
Then repent of it.
Get rid of it.
Repentance means to turn from or away. For years, I thought it meant nothing more than saying “Sorry, Lord”. Now, I understand that repentance, at least in the context of which I am speaking, is explained very well in the Strong’s Concordance. It defines this type of action as a “change of mind by which we turn from, desist from, etc.”
So, if you have neglected your prayer time, it’s ok. All we need to do is repent of forsaking that precious time. If you have been “going through the motions” because you’re bored, we can repent of allowing it to become common, ordinary or dry while trusting the Holy Spirit to breathe life into our prayer time.
I hope this conversation prompts you to refresh your prayer life. Trust me; you need to be close to the Lord in an intimate, real and personal way to navigate this sordid life.