How do we view prayer? Is it a way for us to stay in connection with our Savior or do we treat prayer more like a last ditch effort? Maybe even like some kind of genie in a bottle?
I’m sorry if I’ve stepped on any toes. Trust me mine are severely bruised from examining my own prayer life over the last several years.
We don’t have to look far for why we want to invest time in prayer. God’s word gives us so much insight!
Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. Colossians 4:2 (NLT)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6 (ESV)
Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. Jeremiah 33:3 (ESV)
Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (ESV)
These are only a few verses about prayer. There are so many others!!
Since God’s word teaches so much about prayer we can suffice to say it’s important! Not as simply a checklist on our daily to do list but as an open ended line of communication between us and our Heavenly Father.
You aren’t earning brownie points with God by being in prayer more. You can’t earn His love! I can’t stress this enough. [Tweet “Prayer isn’t some kind of test for us to see if we can barter for God’s love. The cross has already done all the work!!”]
We simply get to accept God’s love and salvation.
Prayer is for us! It’s to strengthen us. Time to spend with our hearts surrendered to God’s will in our lives. We are to abide in Christ as we can’t do anything apart from Him.
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If you abide in me and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. John 15: 5&7 (ESV)
One of the ways I’ve developed my prayer life is through writing them out. Even partially as reminders of who and what I want to pray for on a regular basis.
Towards the top of my list is praying for my own children. They’re both adults now and I’ve prayed for them since they were born. Often they change but I always include 5 areas I feel are vital for them.
I created a free, online prayer guide called “5 Bold Ways to Pray for Your Children”. You can download HERE and print off to customize and make your own. It’s simply a jumping off point to get you started in the conversation with our Father.
When you’re in a close relationship with another person do you talk to them regularly? Do you share your joys and your heartaches with them?
Our relationship with God is the most important relationship we’ll ever be in! So why do we often treat conversing with Him as something we’ll get around to if we have time in the day? Can you imagine how much this breaks God’s heart?
But we don’t have to settle for this kind of prayer life! It doesn’t have to be complicated and I promise you there is freedom there. God wants to hear it all. Nothing is off limits. There isn’t any rule that we need to have fancy words.
[Tweet “God wants our hearts! He’s after a relationship with us not our religion!!”]
If that means you have to lock yourself in your closet to get some time alone with God, go ahead, DO IT! I also want to encourage you to be in open communication with Jesus all day every day.
Whoa did I just freak some of you out with that? I mean come on who has time to be in an all day everyday conversation?
I’m not suggesting you live your life on bended knee in prayer all day. I have Kingdom work God’s given me to do so I have to get up from my knees for a good portion of the day.
What I am suggesting is we keep our heart surrendered to Him and our ears open for what He has for us each day.
When someone comes to our mind and we can’t explain it we can slow down and pray for that person. Those times when we’re asked to pray for someone on social media or from a friend, simply stop and pray. I’m going to be honest here. It’s one of my biggest pet peeves when people say they will pray for someone and that’s where it ends. Not cool!
- As you’re doing dishes tell God about your day.
- Set alarms on your phone as reminders to pray for specific people.
- When you’re at the grocery store thank Him for His provisions.
- That time you lost your wedding ring in a sheep pulling a lamb and God helped you find it praise Him. (Oh wait, is that just me?)
I think you get the idea now. In other words we can live our whole lives in open communication with our Heavenly Father. And when we don’t know what to say we can trust the Holy Spirit to intercede on our behalf!
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. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. Romans 8:26-27 (NIV)
I’m so far from perfect when it comes to all of this. Seriously! I’m super grateful God’s love for us isn’t determined by some kind of performance evaluation. I’d never pass! We can simply choose to be with Him because of His grace and mercy.
What are some of your favorite ways to make time for prayer daily?