Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. (Colossians 4:2)
Today we resume our letters to Libby but we will switch our focus to the Discipline of Prayer. As a reminder, you will play the part of Libby and share your thoughts on the challenges people are having. I need to make one important clarification though; Libby is not expected to be an expert. Rather, Libby simply shares from personal and practical experiences. So, please feel free to chime in even if you have questions yourself. Also, even if you don’t have the time to share, think about how you have addressed the challenge in your life or how you would address it in the life of a loved one.
Please review the Bible passage above and Carla’s challenge below and share your thoughts.
I genuinely have a very strong intent to be a habitual prayer, but intent and reality are miles apart for me. I think if I were to define myself in the matter of praying I would call myself an “event prayer”. I am more inclined to pray because of events rather than as a normal course. Consistent with this definition, I have to confess that I don’t really spend quality time praying. Most times I feel a lot like the disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane who kept sleeping instead of praying. In fact, one of the fastest ways for me to fall asleep at night is to start praying.
I need some practical advice on how I can move closer to my intent.
What thoughts would you like to share with Carla?
March 20, 2017 at 9:04 am
Carla, for me prayer reminds me of an on going relationship with a spouse or other family member who you truly love. I find I can’t wait to talk to that person, and let them know what’s happening, even if it’s only for a few minutes. I also find that I’m that way even if the person doesn’t reside with me. So with the Lord I speak with or consult with him many times during each day on important or non important issues. Prayer is talking with our Father, and doesn’t require all the time a formal sit down and close your eyes deal, but an ongoing talk through your day. There are times when we need to close out the distractions and sit quietly and close our eyes, so maybe if you started of small by just speaking to him during the day, it will become a consistent part of your life.
March 20, 2017 at 11:08 pm
That is very good advice. I find that works for me too.
March 20, 2017 at 10:29 am
Thank you for your letter. Prayer has become one of my greatest assets because I need a lot of prayers therefore I will try my best to help. Prayer is an art – and like any art you have to schedule regular time for practice to become good at it. So the first thing is to Schedule Regular Time to Pray – preferably in the morning when you rise before the distractions of the day set in, and in the evening before you retire for bed.
The second key to habitual praying is to Just Pray. Anyone can pray – no special oratory skill is needed. Do not worry that you cannot find much to say (when there is no ‘event’ to pray about.) go to GOD with a humble heart and tell HIM you do not know what to pray for, and ask HIM to help you. This simple admission may be the sweetest pray you can offer our Master. HE says in Roman 8:26 “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” Therefore our Heavenly Father has already made provisions for His children to come to HIM in prayer through ‘the Helper’ – HIS Holy Spirit – because HE knows we do not know how to pray as we ought.
He can see the inner most desires of our heart yet expressed because it is hidden from us or because we do not know how to articulate our requests or we are simply asking for the wrong things. As we pray GOD fixes our prayers through promptings and impressions so that we can pray more effective prayers.
Thirdly, if you find yourself in the (blessed) position where you do not have any unmet desires to ask of GOD – pray for the Church that she may be strengthened and pray for others. Jesus taught us how to use Intercessory Prayer to pray for others ( See John 17:18-26) That way you will always have something to pray about 🙂
Finally, as you make a habit of praying, you will find more and more incentive to pray, as your relationship with the Father grows and as you benefit from the wonderful blessings that come with regular prayer. Not only do you get the opportunity to ask and receive the things you desire but also realize the mark of true prayer on the life of a Christian – ever increasing spiritual growth.
Yours in Christ,
March 20, 2017 at 11:26 am
Many of us can identify with your struggles when it comes to habitual prayer outside of a crisis. We struggle with covering a wider range of topics and resort mainly on praying for self or family issues. When there is no crisis we lack motivation to spend time in prayer.
What l have found to be very helpful to me over the years is developing my own personalized daily prayer menu. There are many who practice a daily meal menu making sure they cover the basic health groups on a weekly basis. It could be the same with prayer. In the same way you know what you may eat on a Monday, you can create your prayer preference for Monday also all the way back to Sunday. When there is a crisis that need is added to your habitual prayer menu for that day. You can cover daily topics such as family issues, church leaders, friends and collegues, missions around the world, civil leaders and institutions, personal goals, praise and thanksgiving and many more. On each day there will always be a different focus and this can quickly develop into a habit forming lifestyle of prayer.
Try it. I did many years ago and still practice today.
Do you know what your prayer focus will be tomorrow?
March 20, 2017 at 9:01 pm
Throughout the bible the importance of prayer can be seen. Jesus had a lifestyle of prayer. I recognize that without God I am nothing. That To be in His presence is an honour. Like David, we need to depend on God’s strength & wisdom as a daily part of our lives..
It took me years to realize what it means to take all to God in prayer. Also the importance of praying for specifics.
Starting & ending the day in prayer, seeking God, helps to strengthen my relationship & faith in God. I also pray throughout the day for seeming insignificant/ significant reasons…..but it draws me close to Him.
In difficult times I pray even more. Once, only once, without realizing it I prayed from about 10:00pm to daybreak. I only knew the length of time when the rising sun broke through my prayers. I was only praying for comfort, drawing close to God. His healing touch was within seconds, a healing I did not think was possible & did not pray for. Other amazing events followed over some years.
A verse comes to mind: ‘ draw close to me & I will draw close to you’.
Purposefully make prayer a daily part of life, pray unceasingly as we are commanded to do.
March 21, 2017 at 7:39 am
Great reply 🙂
March 21, 2017 at 8:56 am
Very inspiring …