Pray

Before you read today’s thoughts from me on the gifts we are giving to Christ this Christmas, watch this classic moment from worship: WATCH THIS.

Think about the time you spend daily in conversation with God.  If in thinking about the topic of prayer you say to yourself, “Ugh, I guess I should pray more.”  STOP.  You don’t have a prayer problem–you have a heart problem.  When Jesus spoke to the church at Ephesus in the book of Revelation, he said these words:

“Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.  Consider how far you have fallen!  Repent and do the things you did at first.”  Revelation 2:4-5

Other barriers to our prayer life include unconfessed sin, deliberate disobedience, living “normal” lives (you need no help from God if you want to live like everyone else–that will come quite naturally), pride (I got this and don’t need God’s direction or help), an overcrowded life (if the devil can’t make you bad he’s quite content to make you busy), and a lack of time in God’s Word.  Is there a prayer barrier that needs to dealt with?

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”  Psalm 139:23-24

As we deal with our prayer barriers and we begin to think about deepening our life of prayer, here are a few things that I have found helpful in my own life:

  1.  Stop talking to myself and start talking to God.  It’s amazing the number of conversations that go on in my head all day.  Amazing things happen when I stop talking to myself and start talking to God.  Try it.
  2. Pray immediately when asked for prayer.  How many times has someone asked you to pray for them and you have agreed to do so, but have later forgotten?  The time for prayer is most often now.
  3. While many may consider the prayers around meals to be dead ritual, I find that these times are great reminders to be thankful and to acknowledge the One who is always present and is the Provider of all good things.
  4. Consider praying with those in distress rather than offering advice.
  5. Teach your children early to pray.  Pray with them daily.
  6. Combine the reading of Scripture with prayer and let the Scripture direct your prayers.  Often our prayers get stuck in the rut of asking for the same old things rather than being guided by the Holy Spirit into aligning our wills with God’s will.  Prayer and Scripture go together like peanut butter and jelly.
  7. Look at your bulletin on Sunday.  What’s going on at church that you should be supporting in prayer.  Remember, we accomplish spiritual good through spiritual tools.

These are just a few thoughts from me.  Spend some time with God and look for how God is calling you to intentionally order your life of prayer.  May this time with God be sweet to you and may you look forward with excitement and anticipation at the opportunity you are being given to spend more time in conversation with your Heavenly Father!

Yours in Christ,

Jeff