Prayer is one of those spiritual mysteries I can’t wait to fully understand some day – but for now, I am blessed to reap the benefits of direct access to God. And while He doesn’t need me to fulfill His will, I believe He delights in our prayers, praise, and requests (Proverbs 15:8)
In fact, He tells us to be devoted to prayer – alert in prayer, continuing in prayer – Colossians 4:2-3 –
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ.
What does devotion to prayer look like in your life? There have been seasons in my life where every hour I was praying – sometimes every minute. Talking to God and pouring out my heart to Him was the only way through the turmoil. And not because He swooped down and fixed it in an instant, but because He was present, with me, available.
I can think of other seasons where I wasn’t relying on my communication with God – and how quickly things can spiral. A good friend shared this challenge with me, and OH MAN, has it ever stuck.
Do you go to the phone or do you go to the throne?
ZING! So many times when something happens – from exciting news to tragic circumstances – do we pick up our phone to call and talk to someone, or do we first thank God, praise God, cry to God? I want to be someone who goes to the throne, FIRST. More consistently. The big stuff, the little stuff. I want to be a warrior in prayer and build a deeper relationship with the Lord through my prayer life.
Prayer has already brought so much richness to my faith journey. I know that investing more time and focus into my prayer life will draw me closer and keep my mind on things above. When I make time to praise God for who He is – it’s so affirming for me to say out loud all of His attributes. Sometimes when I’m running I will pray the ABCs of God: “God, you are so Awesome, you are Almighty, you are my Advocate, you are the Beginning, you are the Bread of life, you are my Comforter…” and it is so powerful to meditate on each character of God and how we have seen Him work in our life.
Some of the goals in my prayer life are going to take practice. Sometimes I find my mind wandering. And sometimes I feel like I’m rambling on and on, and the conversation is so one-sided, barely coming up for air. I’m trying to spend more time yielding, listening, waiting, during my prayer time. These are some ways I want to be more devoted to prayer in the coming year.
In Daniel chapter 9, Daniel prays to God, and says “we don’t pray and make requests because of our righteousness, but because of Your great mercy. I love this! Our prayers aren’t because of anything we have or can do, but are completely because God gave us this channel to talk directly to Him, and He shows us so much love, comfort, and mercy, through prayer. He doesn’t care about our fancy words, He cares about our sincere hearts.
Another area I want to be more devoted in prayer, is in leading others in prayer, and I have a great opportunity with my own family.
Each morning on the way to school our kindergartener and third grader request “Mom, will you get the prayer sticks”. During the 6 minutes between our home and the school we try to refocus the morning frenzy of getting out the door, and prepare our hearts for the day. I know that prayer is the most important key to the success of my day, and I hope to lead my kids in strong prayer habits. This is one small practical thing we do and our kids love it!
At the beginning of the school year they write down all their classmates and teacher on individual popsicle sticks. Each morning they each pull one stick out of the cup and that’s the person they pray for that morning. It’s a small and simple way to start the day. And sometimes at the end of the day they share a praise report of something specific they prayed for that friend, and how God answered that prayer. I love that they get to see God working in their world!
While Jesus was on earth, He modeled prayer for us. We hear him in the garden of Gethsemane pouring his heart out to the Father. We see him retreating from the crowds to take time to pray. He tells his disciples to watch and pray. He even gives us a template of what to pray, in the Lord’s Prayer, recorded in Matthew and Luke.
Prayer seems like one of those marvelous mysteries – God tells us to come to Him, let our requests be known (Philippians 4:6), all the while He already knows what is in our hearts, knows what His perfect will is, and knows the outcome of all things. I’m so thankful that we can go directly to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and do not need a mediator (1 Tim 2:5). We have direct access to the Creator of the Universe, the King of all Kings wants us to talk to Him, and share our heart with Him!
Do you have any prayer goals for the coming year?