“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Luke 5:16
In 2014 I wrote my first article challenging people to reflect on their prayer practices. I realized, even after six years have passed, that each of the questions asked are one I must still ask myself today.
These are the questions asked:
Do you pray more than you did a year ago?
Do you have set times in which you speak with God?
Do you pray on the fly?
What causes you to pray?
Do you fell a nudge from the Holy Spirit, or do you only pray when something good or bad is happening around you?
Do you think prayer is intermingled with all other parts of your life, or is it just another activity that may or may not occur during your day?
Do you know the purpose and value of prayer?
Visualize someone who you cannot stop thinking about because of the fond feelings you have for them. Consequently, there may be phone calls or texts to that person to say hello. In addition to the unexpected connections throughout the day, scheduling a time to meet with them and looking forward to seeing them at the scheduled time keeps your relationship alive. Furthermore, the climactic feeling of being with them and then having to say “I hate to leave” keeps the relationship strong. This desire to connect should be the attitude and concept of scheduled prayer.
Planned prayer, and the anticipation of that time with God, keeps our soul charged.
During Jesus’ earthy ministry, the people of Israel had set prayers times. They drew on the practices and words of David and Daniel and prayed three times a day. These times also coincided with sacrifice times in the temple and helped people focus on loving the Lord with all their being. They had developed the habit of personal and group prayer times. Jesus prayed during these times showing how to maintain an intimate relationship with the Father.
Starting our day in prayer sets the tone for the day with the One who first loved us. However, prayer is meaningful at any hour of the day. It is an essential part of Christian life, but many people have forgotten that talking with God can improve our lives in so many ways. God wants us to speak with Him, and even when we do not know what to say, He still wants us to stop and come before Him; He will read our hearts. Continue to pray whenever you feel compelled but consider being more intentional about setting up a time to stop what you are doing and acknowledge our God.
Remember: “Planned prayer, and the anticipation of that time with God will keep your soul charged.”