In my last article, I mentioned how prayer is and always has been one of the greatest struggles in the Christian life. I haven’t met a Christian (nor read one) who didn’t realize they don’t pray as much as they would love to.
John Bunyan in speaking from his experience about prayer said- “May I but speak my own Experience, and from that tell you the difficulty of Praying to God as I ought; it is enough to make your poor, blind, carnal men, to entertain strange thoughts of me. For, as for my heart, when I go to pray, I find it so loth to go to God, and when it is with Him, so loth to stay with Him, that many times I am forced in my Prayers; first to beg God that He would take mine heart, and set it on Himself in Christ, and when it is there, that he would keep it there”
What is prayer?
John Bunyan describes it as – “a sincere, sensible, affectionate pouring out of the heart or soul to God through Christ, in the strength and assistance of the Holy Spirit, for such things as God hath promised or, according to the Word, for the good of the church, with submission, in faith, to the will of God.”
How can we then fight our natural tendency to lapse into half-hearted prayer or not to pray at all?
- Give priority to prayer. By priority I mean treat it as more important than any other thing. Prayer is the first and most important thing you are called to do (Eph 6:18). John Bunyan said- “You can do more than pray after you have prayed, but you can not do more than pray until you have prayed.”
Prayer is your real spiritual life and work not an appendix (Luke 18:1, Col 4:2). So, friends, rearrange your priorities.
- Give room to prayer (Matt 6:6). By creating an actual small space in your house (sometimes, it’s just a spot by your bed or by your wardrobe) where you habitually meet with God, you can begin to make headway in your prayer life. That way you can always “go” to pray (Luke 5:16).
You should also have a “time” room if possible. A time where you’ve decided and devoted for prayer in your everyday life. That way, when it’s that time, you can leave everything you’re doing and “go” to your prayer “room” to meet with God in prayer.
- Bring God His own word. When you pray, pray with the scriptures. That’s one sure easy way you overcome your reluctance to pray. As you read the bible, pray the prayers in the Bible and pray the promises in the Bible (Isaiah 65:24). In addition, pray over each thought in a specific scripture verse you read. This way, you don’t run out of words and things to pray about
Friends, don’t just pray only the times you feel the urge to pray. You know your own weaknesses, you know those urges are infrequent. Instead, pray in response to the least impulse to do so. This way, you will see that you’ll pray your way through the day without ceasing.
We live in a broken, dark, and perverse world friends. And the ready antidote to ward off spiritual diseases is prayer (Matt 26:41). So, go on then, and pray always (1 Thess 5:17)