Do you pray? Can you say exactly how many minutes a day you pray? Do you give God the time of day He desires of you? Do you expect much from God yet give Him little? Does this make sense to you: Much Prayer – much blessing; little prayer – little blessings; no prayer – no blessing. (Dee Duke)
Our goal should be to love God with all we are so that our relationship is sound and holy. Our relationship should be such that we delight in all He is and as it grows He blesses us with the desires of our heart. Reading scripture and praying will help us understand God’s promises and expectations and by accepting the Holy Spirit’s assistance, He will lead us to a better understanding of our relationship with Him. The more we seek God, the more we will understand Him and the more we understand Him, the more we will be blessed.
Prayer is communication with God. Our relationships with others on this earth have shown us that the more we talk with someone we want to be near, the closer we will get to them. Prayer is our way to get closer to God however it is not a natural response. We, like the disciples, have to be taught to pray. We need to pray whether in silence, with scripture, with written prayers, or in spoken words. We need to pray not only prayers like the ones we offer during our meals but prayers offered during intentionally chosen times and places before God. We need to pray like Jesus: daily, in seclusion and before we do anything else. We must adopt the habit of intentional prayer and set aside a time and place to be alone with God.
Developing a prayer habit may seem inappropriate terminology because we want it to be more holy and flow from us naturally. But we know it is not natural because we have been trained by the world to fill our lives with everyone and nothing. Examine your response to the question “how many minutes a day do you pray” and that should tell you whether prayer is natural to you. To form the habit we need to set goals such as time and location for prayer. Be realistic by identifying a time that you know you will be available and consider starting off with 3 days a week for 10 minutes at a time. However, honour God by honouring that time and even consider having an accountability partner who will challenge you in your habit. Initially your prayer time with God can seem dry as you do not know what to say or your mind wanders; plan for those eventualities. Jot down what you will pray about ahead of time. During the actual prayer time, if you struggle to speak, write out your thoughts in a journal as your prayers, or use scripture such as the Psalms as your prayers, or just remain silent. Fight the flesh which will tug at you during this time and eventually you will be praying daily, for longer periods and will delight in thinking about God throughout your day and praying for those around you.
Scripture guides us to seek to adapt the character of Jesus; specially the attributes of loving the Father with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. Jesus taught us that we first pray before acting and then we respond to God’s guidance. Daily and often in the early morning was Jesus’ habit of praying and we need the habit of prayer in our lives. Delight in God and speak with Him; much prayer – much blessing; little prayer – little blessing; no prayer – no blessing.