I will admit and have admitted before that I’m not a prayer warrior. I so desire to be, but my own flesh fights this daily. Don’t get me wrong. I see the importance of prayer, I understand the heart that prays and the reality of the issues within the heart that does not pray.
However, after 22 years of not putting prayer in the right spot on my list of priorities, how do I change?
For me, I have found that routine, as cheap as that might sound, really does work. Adam and I pray every evening before we say good night. Now, after almost ten months (tomorrow 🙂 ) of this practice, it is not a questioned activity, and it is something I cherish about our evenings together.
In light of this, I am tempted to say that routine is a wonderful way to ensure that you remain on your knees. However, like anything routine can become just that, a rote practice one does because one feels obligated or because that’s just what always happens. So how do we avoid that?
Also, what about those times when someone asks you to pray for them, and you prayed that one time when first asked, but then forgot and when they came to you to thank you for praying, you realize that despite being on your knees multiple times from the time asked until that awkward moment you were currently experiencing, you realize just how little you really prayed regarding that request? How do we remind ourselves of all the requests and yet feel like we’re honestly communicating with the Father without just repeating back a vague list of names of people who need God’s Hand in their lives?
Another question that comes to mind is what do you do to combat your mind wandering while you pray to things that you didn’t accomplish throughout the day, to the myriad of things that you need to do, to food (I’ll admit that this has happened), or to something else random and just distracting?
Let’s talk about it.
Prayer is really a communication with a real being in much the same way that I communicate with any of the people I know. Not only is God a real being, but He is the Supreme Being, the Creator of the Universe, the one and only Deity, the Father and Friend to His children, and the Judge of all mankind.
I’ve been doing a study of the heart of prayer for my personal improvement project for Intro to Biblical Counseling, and what I have been finding is that I view prayer way too often as something extremely formal and non-interactive unlike I should view it as a two-way relationship of open communication between me and my best Friend, my great Counselor, and the Answer to all life’s questions, concerns, and requests.
So, routine is good. I mean, Adam and I have routines. I always text him good morning and ask how his night of sleep was. Is that bad? No. However, I hope our relationship is based on more than just that little bit of morning conversation. With real relationships come spontaneity and a desire for good, healthy, deep communication. That should also describe my prayer life.
On the subject of feeling obligated if I bring a list to the Lord, do I often have a list of things to talk to Adam about? Oh, definitely. Our lives are very busy, and sometimes a trip to go register for our wedding is the only time we have to talk about things other than the events of our day. Sometimes I set reminders in my phone or write on my hand – yeah, I’m definitely a palm-list writer. I don’t feel obligatory with our discussions even though I might have multiple topics to discuss or multiple things to consult about, do I? No, I don’t, because real relationships involve multiple angles, circumstances, and situations. I should go the Lord with much the same heart.
So, I just admitted it. I write myself notes because I forget to talk to Adam about important subjects. Is that wrong? No. In the same way, to avoid those moments when we realize, “Crap. I really did tell so-and-so that I would pray for them and I’ve only prayed once in the last three weeks,” we can make reminders for ourselves to stay on our knees for those we have given our word to. I do it.
In my phone right now, I have two reminders that go off weekly. On Monday nights and Thursday nights, one of my friends has meetings that take place. These meetings are often unpleasant, and there is a group of us who support him in prayer during these times. I don’t know about you, but remembering to look at the clock at the perfect time twice a week is an impossibility for me, but setting reminders in my phone are not.
Really, in that case, what it comes down to are priorities and desires. If I desire to tell Adam something, to remember to pray for someone, or to remember to do something that I ought to do, I will make it a point not to forget. That could look like anything – hand-writing, sticky-note use, cellphone calendar reminders, day-timers, accountability partners, etc. The question is: how much of a priority is it to you?
So, there are my thoughts on prayer and the re-prioritization of it. What are your thoughts?
2 thoughts on “Talk about It Tuesdays: Prayer”
as always love your blog. Love you, even if my child abandons me as soon as she sees you ( i think it is the cutest thing ever) can you do me a favor and follow mine. I have tons of hits but i need followers and others to help promote. there are days of very good messages, just wish i could get others to read it so i may help them, lead them to curiosity for the Lord, or give them some one to relate to. thanks
I just stumbled onto your blog today and think it is pretty awesome! I hope you keep it up! I’m loving how you are so God-centered and I can tell you really love Him. Can’t wait for more posts of yours.