Some days my mind balks at the idea of prayer like when a cat freaks out in water. I pray to encourage you in your prayer life by sharing this space with you in vulnerability. You are not alone.
Prayer doesn’t come naturally.
Prayer goes against most “social norms.” This is not a bad thing, it simply causes us to pause and consider, because majority of humans are self-conscious: thinking about what others are thinking of them.
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” – Hebrews 11:1
Prayer is a directly connected to faith. It is odd when you consider: (1) you believe in a power/person you cannot see, and (2) you trust that person to hear all your words/thoughts/prayers. Prayer seems like a lot of guessing/hoping sometimes.
Prayer feels pointless sometimes.
First, I would say give all your expectations to God. Do not expect prayer to be a certain way, because if we did God would more than likely show us something different because man cannot put him in a box. Anything that is not natural such as prayer, needs practice/work/time invested in order for it to become natural. Something needs to bridge that gap between the unnatural and the natural.
“being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.” – Colossians 1:11-12
Unfortunately prayer does not happen by itself. The greatest things we strive for in life come through our own discipline. Prayer is hardly any different. The only difference with prayer is that it takes your control of the results and places this power of activism in God’s hands.
Prayer is hard to concentrate on.
We’ve all been there. And that is alright! All God wants to develop in us is a perseverance to stick with him to the end. We are never going to get it fully right, but every day spent with God results in a deeper relationship than the day before
“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” – James 1:12
All God has ever asked for is a relationship with us. He loved us so much He sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in us as Christians so that we could know that God is closer than anyone.
Are you even listening to my prayers, God?
We’ve all been there. Feel like I’m talking at the ceiling or talking at the floor, take your pick. Is prayer supposed to FEEL a certain way? God how do I know you are listening?
“And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.” – 1 John 5:14
We should EXPECT God to answer prayers, but when the request becomes so consuming that we lose our love for God in the process then we subconsciously turn God into a genii of sorts. Our prayers have become results-oriented. A healthy prayer life is fully satisfied in having an on-going, deep, communicative relationship that leaves results fully in God’s hands. Whether “Good” or “Bad” result still having a deep loving prayer life.
Prayer is not just for big requests
I get halfway through my day sometimes and realize I have not talked with God, and I say to myself, “well I have not really done anything today; I will make sure to pray this afternoon!”
“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”- Matthew 6:26
“Prayer is for big requests” is something we would never really say out loud, but our subconscious screams it! This stems from a self-reliance, and it really sucks to admit, but it is the truth.
How do I continually pray?
Many cannot say that their prayer life is healthy. Why is this? Prayer is hard because it is not habit. If it is not almost second nature, how can you possibly expect to pray all the time like it is no big deal.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Praying without ceasing such as David and others mention in the Bible comes from a LIFE fully dedicated to the cause of Christ. Prayer did not come easy for them either, have you ever read some of David’s psalms? Some are not pretty at all. But his prayers do not have to be pretty, that is the point. The point is simply honest, heartfelt communication with God who cares about you.
What is prayer…really?
Isn’t prayer supposed to be some “divine communion” where God and I can talk on super deep levels? Rarely does it feel that way. God am I supposed to “feel” during prayer? God show me!
Prayer is how we converse with God. Conversations have endless variety. The problem is our prayers our often one-sided, making it feel like we are talking to ourselves.
Our belief in prayer is shown by the time we dedicate to prayer.
Prayer is worth it because God is worthy. Every exchange involves a transaction of WORTH. If someone does not see worth in their part of the transaction, then they will not take a part in it – plain and simple. The crying sin of today’s generation (myself included) is not seeing WORTH in PRAYER. How? Why? I do not know. But I keep on reminding myself that prayer is WORTH it.
No matter how frustrated I get, I am going to let God know about it.
No matter how impossible prayer feels, I am going to let God know about it.
No matter how good life is and prayer seems easy for now, I am going to let God know about it.
That is prayer.
I believe the most beautiful aspect of prayer is that God says, “Come as you are.”
God just wants us to be honest and genuine with him. Let us start today, because the “struggle” is worth it!