Essential #2: Cultivate Conversation with God
If you skip praying on your knees first thing in the morning, are you flunking out spiritually?
Is that a requirement?
Is there a difference between a prayer-time and a prayer-life? Do we all have to fit the same “devotional” box—having the same style and schedule?
I don’t think so.
• Convictions vary. Some of you have both a conviction and a commitment to begin your day with Bible reading and prayer. One woman (with no children) told me she was raised with the principle, “No Bible, no breakfast!” At the time I was a young mom struggling with two little ones and desperately trying to open my eyes at an unearthly hour to spend time with God. I won’t tell you what went through my mind about her total lack of understanding! You might be like me, struggling to be consistent at the crack of dawn—and feeling guilty if it doesn’t happen. But: Here’s an important fact to remember:
• We are not the same. Good and helpful and Biblical as it is to spend time with God early in the morning, we are not shaped the same way, we don’t have the same inner clock, the same outward schedule, or the same responsibilities at that early hour. We are individuals and can celebrate the fact that God has given us 24 hours in a day when we can talk with Him—at any moment and in any circumstance. But here’s another important fact to remember:
• Our need IS the same. We live in God’s grace and not in His judgment. We live with his invitation to COME, to CALL on Him, to PRAISE, to TASTE and SEE that He is good—and to snuggle close in every situation we experience each day. When we sail though our day without conversing with God, we’re saying “I don’t need you. I can manage my life, my relationships, my fears, and my decisions without you.” I doubt any of us would honestly say that!
So do we need prayer? Absolutely. And out of my own longing to pray more, let me encourage you with these quotes from a few of my favorite books and authors on prayer.
Corrie ten Boom: Magnificent Prayer, collated by Nick Harrison, Zondervan
1. Prayer is necessary for the soul. “What wings are to a bird and sails to a ship, so is prayer to the soul.”
2. Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?
3. We depend far too much on our feelings as a test of our prayers.
Richard Foster: Prayer: Finding the hearts true home
1. Prayer is not another duty to add to an already over-committed schedule.
2. We must firmly discipline ourselves to a regular pattern of prayer. We cannot assume that time will somehow magically appear.
3. While the wilderness is necessary, it is never meant to be permanent. In God’s time, and in God’s way the desert will give way to a land flowing with milk and honey.
MaryKate Morse: A Guidebook to Prayer—24 ways to walk with God, IVP
1. Prayer can redirect anxiety to hope, bitterness to freedom, insecurity to courage, and stuck-ness to vision.
2. I encourage you to pray as an individual at least four times a week for at least fifteen minutes a day.
3. Because of distractions and busyness we can miss the places where Jesus is yearning for us to make a difference. Prayer is the space where we get close to the heart of God and are renewed in our priorities.
Qu. What are your thoughts or convictions about prayer? Do you have a story or suggestion for your fellow readers? Leave your response in the comment section below.
I’ll share more with you in my next post.
“Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests…always keep on praying for all the saints” Ephesians 6:18.
Blessings on your prayers to the Living God, in the name of the Risen One.
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