Prayer is the most tangible expression of trust in God. –Jerry Bridges
Quiet Time: Sitting in my chair, I’d read a portion of Scripture and then commence with my daily prayers. They went something like this: “Dear Heavenly Father, please help me get an A on my Spanish test today. Help me not to be rude to mom. I really hope that ______ likes me. Please, could I marry him? Um….(thoughts wander to _______)…um…yeah…I guess that’s it. Amen.” End of time with God.
Maybe as a mom it might sound more like this: “Dear Heavenly Father, please help Johnny’s team win the tournament. And please help the weather to be nice for our week end cabin trip. And….(thoughts wander to the packing list for the trip…) Um….help the kids love You…um….(thoughts wander to the day’s responsibilities…) help me be more honoring to my husband…(thoughts wander to the argument the night before…feeling mad now…) AUGH! I’ve got to get going here…Amen.”
Is there a blessed escape from boring prayer?
Fresh out of college, I attended a church where the pastor took prayer seriously. He believed that the success of his ministry would be directly related to the time invested in prayer, and that prayer was the MAIN thing…not just a nice side note. One of his regular, daily practices was to go into the woods where he could be alone with God and pace the ground, praying out loud for long periods of time.
Our church had regular prayer nights in which almost everyone involved would come out to pray for hours. The men and women of that church labored intensely in prayer…walking the floors of the gym where we would meet…praying fervently to “Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us...” Ephesians 3:20 They didn’t seem to care what anyone thought of them while they prayed…they just PRAYED…totally concentrated on the King Who was listening! I couldn’t believe it. They even had their eyes OPEN so they could see where they were walking! : ) I was accustomed to praying in a circle of chairs with other people…eyes shut…head in hands…yawning and counting the long, weary, passionless minutes until the prayer time was done.
This was revolutionary!
Soon after that, I went on staff full time to disciple college women in a campus ministry connected with our church at the University of Minnesota. A serious prayer life had been modeled for me, and now it was my turn to develop the exciting discipline of prayer for my own life and ministry. Basically, I imitated my teachers…and began one of the most amazing journeys in my walk with Jesus yet.
I discovered my own faith growing by leaps and bounds as I interceded for others. Little miracles that would have been overlooked previously were now noticed and brought even more increased faith in a Living God and His power. I found that God used those prayer times for others to give me insights into the Word that I had never seen before. Creative ideas began to “come to me”…and a deeper understanding of the hurts of others and my own sin became more apparent while I was laboring in prayer!
What was the key?
- Praying out loud
Join me next time as I talk about the first thing we need to develop an exciting prayer life: DESIRE!