“It’s a simple question, but it can be tough to answer. It sounds like, “How has your talking to God been like lately?” or “Sum up your relationship with God at this point in your life.”
Bible reading, by comparison, is more straightforward and objective. How many pages? How far along in your plan? Which books have you been reading? What have you learned? Prayer doesn’t fit into an Excel sheet quite as easily.
God means for your life, married or unmarried, retired or employed, young or old, to run on the power of prayer. Prayer fuels the engine of your heart and mind. It’s not coffee, or energy drinks or social media buzz; it’s prayer. You need God in and through prayer more than you need anything else. And yet, you probably feel as insecure about your prayer life as you feel about anything.
Prayer might be the most crucial and most puzzling activity in Christian life. We know we need to pray, but we know we don’t pray enough. And we’re not always sure we’re even doing it right when we do pray.
The devil hates prayer. Our flesh does not naturally love it. Therefore, it does not come full-born and complete and passionate from the womb of our heart. It takes discipline.
Our understanding of prayer will correspond to our knowledge of God. When God is seen as desiring to bless us, and when we acknowledge that He is sovereignly free to respond to us, prayer will be seen as a dialogue with God. Prayer will lead to greater communion with God and a greater understanding of His will.
Without God, we will not do anything of any real and lasting value, which means we will not do anything without prayer. God will respond when we faithfully pursue this dialogue with Him.
TIP – Listen before you speak – Read something from the Bible (even just a verse) before praying.
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
When you sit down to pray, let God speak first. Let him have the first word. Put his living and active words into your ears and let them shape and inspire what you say back to him. If you learn something new about him and his ways, tell him. If the verses raise questions, ask him. Eventually, you can move on to today’s burdens but begin by worshiping him through his word.