Often I get asked about my prayer life. “How do I keep track of prayers?” Do I pray daily?” Whose or what system do I use?” “What works and doesn’t work etc.?” For the next few “Knee-Down” Wednesdays, I will share my journey in prayer; what I found works, didn’t work and why.
First key: Foundational to a solid prayer life… Commitment… It will not matter how fancy or wonderful the system, if commitment’s lacking. Perhaps you’re new to prayer? Or maybe you’re familiar with prayer, yet needing a nudge? Experts say it takes 21 days to develop a task or desire into a habit. 5 minutes a day, over the next 21 days, could bring about the desired result.
Step two – Understanding Prayer: If we’re committing to praying 5 minutes each day, it would behoove us to define prayer. You may have heard it’s simply a conversation between you and God. Well, that would be true, but not entirely. Through prayer we literally enter into God’s presence. For example, when we use the internet application Skype or FaceTime we connect audibly and visually with other people. Dialoging in the same space/room, yet, they are cities, states or whole countries away. Prayer is similar. When we pray we connect, literally enter into God’s presence. We cannot visually see Him but nevertheless He is with us.
When I first began my journey and life with God, prayer was a huge challenge. I struggled staying focused for even 5 minutes. One day in frustration I shouted, “God, you know if you were literally here, face-to-face I would talk your ear off. But, this ambiguous praying is well, God, it’s hard”. Out of nowhere a thought struck me. Set up a chair and picture me, a.k.a. God, in the chair. Talk to me as if I am sitting right here; for even though you cannot see me, I am right here with you”. (I now know God was interacting with me through prayer – His thought to my mind). Wow, did that ever make a difference!!! Yes, it was awkward at first, it didn’t take long however, before God and I were dialoging easily, 5 minutes a day.
Sounds pretty simple; it’s that simple. Prayer does not need to be complicated or difficult. Satan would love to convince us otherwise. Why? Prayer is power. Next week we explore more on the power behind prayer.
This week, may I challenge you to make a commitment to pray, to simply talk to God, for 5 minutes each day. Talk to him about anything you desire. If you don’t believe in God, but are searching out his reality, share with him your disbelief and doubts. For example, “I don’t believe you exist, God. I want to, I think. I’ve tried to believe. You never seem to come through”. If you are angry with God for the loss of a loved one, or other hurt in your life, I assure you God’s shoulders are big enough. Yell at him; share your anger with him. If you have decisions to make and need guidance or wisdom talk to God about the situation; just as you would a friend. If you are concerned for a family member or friends health or _____ share those concerns too. God cares about our deepest needs, wants and desires. 5 minutes a day will change your life; guaranteed!
Until next time,
“Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.”
1 Peter 5:7 Amplified Bible