1997-02-14 - Prayer

The Spiritual Disciplines Series, Part 3

"The one concern of the Devil is to keep Christians from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, and prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray." Samuel Chadwick

Jesus said, "Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full." John 16:24

Jesus expects us to pray. He placed a very high priority on prayer. Prayer and praying is mentioned 226 times in the NIV Bible. Why is praying so hard? I have to believe it is hard because praying is not a "natural" human design. All our lives we are taught to be self-sufficient. We have a God that loves us very much and wants us to pour our hearts out to HIM often.

Trust in him at all times, O people; Pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuse. Psalm 62:8 NIV

Simple Ideas for a Better Prayer Life

  1. Make a daily appointment with God and keep it. Set at least one time during the day to talk to God. Make prayer a top priority in your life.
  2. If you have children, pray with them before they go to school. I also love praying with them at night after we talk about their day. Let them see that prior is a top priority.
  3. Praying with you spouse. This seems to be the most difficult for couples. Pray for each other and express your thanks and needs to God.
  4. Use what Jan calls "bullet" prayers. Short prayers all during the day. I love these prayers while waiting at stop lights, in grocery store lines, while getting gas and other "idle" times during the day.
  5. Find someone to be your prayer partner. Hold each other accountable for praying and pray together. Many prayer partners exist on AOL and via Email.
  6. Use a prayer journal. Write down your prayers. Go back and write how God has heard your prayers. You will be amazed at the effectiveness of prayer journals. Years ago writing my prayers was the only way I could focus long enough to complete a prayer.
  7. Go for walks and pray. Imagine God walking along and listening to you.
  8. My favorite tip is this. Pick a chair like the gentleman in last week's devotional and close your eyes and imagine Jesus sitting there. Just talk and pray to HIM. He loves to hear what is on your heart. I personally have several "chairs" for Jesus. One at home, one here at the office and He loves riding in the car. I love praying out loud to Him in the car. Yes, I get some funny looks from other motorists! : )

I rarely recommend books, but a great book on prayer is by Bill Hybels, "Too Busy NOT to Pray" published by InterVarsity Press.

Dear Father, increase in us the hunger to pour our hearts out to you. Lord help us to focus on prayer daily, hourly, and every minute of our lives. Lord we love you and praise you. Thank you for being a loving God that is accessible to us 24 hours a day, anytime, anyplace. YOU are an awesome God! In Jesus' precious name we pray, Amen.