For the Collage Class… I love you!
How’s Your Prayer Life? On a scale from 1 to 10 (1 being nonexistent and 10 being Mother Teresa), how would you rate your prayer life? I am hesitant to rate myself very high… as a matter of fact, my prayer life is something I definitely need to work on and improve.
Let me ask you some questions: Do you ever say “I’ve been praying for you” or “I will be praying for you” when the truth is we often forgot… or maybe we just think about them from time to time without really bringing their name to God? Do you begin to pray with good intentions and get distracted by every day things or get tripped up by not knowing what to say?
Or is it just me…
I have to admit, I need to work on making my prayer life a lot more intentional. How about you?
What does it mean to pray? Let’s not get all technical and include Mr. Webster… let’s just lay it out straight: Prayer is having a conversation with God.
The Bible provides great examples of Jesus’s prayer life.
35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. (Mark 1:35)
23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone. (Matthew 14:23)
12 One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. (Luke 6:12)
This is only a sample… but do you notice what He did? He got up early, he went someplace quiet and he spent time alone with God. And look at this:
20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. (John 17:20-21)
Do you see what He did here? He prayed for US. For you and for me. Two thousand years before we were even a twinkle in our mama’s eyes, Jesus knew who we were and prayed for us. Isn’t that amazing?!
Let me ask this question: Is there a wrong way to pray? Before you answer too hastily, let me share a few verses with you.
7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. (Matthew 6:7)
9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 18:9-14)
Peeps, when we talk to God, we need to leave behind the flowery language, the pomp and circumstance, and check our ego at the door. We need to seek God out humbly. He knows our heart. He knows all of our thoughts. He knows what we are going to say before we do! There is no surprising Him… he just wants you to seek Him out!
So, I challenge you:
Talk to God DAILY
11 Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. (1 Chronicles 16:11)
Speak to Him as you would your earthly father or your very best friend. God doesn’t mind if you complain or vent to Him. He doesn’t mind if you come to him angry or on the verge of tears. He just wants you to seek Him. He wants to have a relationship with you. So talk to him…
Your prayer time doesn’t ever have to end. I have even heard of people who will not say Amen on their prayers because they are following the advice of 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18:
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Here are some suggestions for you:
- Keep a prayer journal– writing out your prayers can keep you focused on what you need to say to God. The added advantage of a prayer book is being able to highlight prayers as they are answered! It is awesome to see how God works in even the smallest ways!
- Use prayer cards- get a spiral index card booklet. Write one name or prayer request on each card and pray daily over each one, turning a few cards a day.
- Hang post-it notes- It worked for Ms. Clara on War Room! Pray over each note, add to your wall, or take ones down as they are answered. Add scriptures along with them so you can prayer God’s Word over each request!
- Create a prayer room or find a solitary place- You need to go somewhere where you can be alone with God without distractions. No roommates watching SportsCenter, no family members trying to talk to you, and no cell phones full of texting friends and notifications!
Hopefully this will help you raise the rating of your prayer life… and strengthen your relationship with your heavenly Father!
Love you all and pray you are having a magnificent week!