One of the most essential areas of the Christian faith is communion (communication) with God. As a follower of Christ, I need to listen to the One I am following and to talk with Him. I have heard it said that even if you attend church every Sunday and read your Bible throughout the week, but your prayer life is dead, you cannot grow spiritually. It is so important to have that intimate communication with God through prayer to live for Him and to grow in His Word.
I know how important prayer is to my spiritual health, so I strive to make it very important to me. Today I want to encourage you (and remind myself) of a couple areas to look at where prayer is concerned. I desire to grow daily in the area of prayer, and I hope that you will join me in this journey to become strong prayer warriors for the Lord!
Begin and end each day with prayer.
“Evening, and morning, and at noon will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.” –Psalm 55:17
In the morning, thank God for another day. Thank Him for His many blessings: family, friends, job, home, anything and everything that you have! I believe it is important to remember that these things (and so much more!) are blessings NOT rights. God has graciously given us the individual things that we possess because He loves us. I emphasize “graciously” because we have done nothing to deserve the things that God has given us. We are all sinners given the opportunity for salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ who willingly gave up His place in heaven to come to earth to die for our sins; because we are completely incapable of saving ourselves. And that is the thing that should be at the top of our blessings list: our salvation! If you are a child of God, your biggest blessing in life without a doubt is your salvation in Christ. That is worth thanking and praising Him every single day!
In the evening/night, reflect on the day. Acknowledge your wrongs, ask the Lord to teach you to grow more with each day, and thank Him for His protection through another day. We are not promised any given amount of days, so each one is a gift from God.
Bathe every decision in prayer.
“Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” –Psalm 37:4-5
It really doesn’t matter if it is big or small, every single area of life needs God’s guidance and His grace. The more I grow in my relationship with the Lord the more plain it becomes to me that the bottom line is this: I am unable to go through life successfully apart from Jesus Christ. I simply cannot do it. I have said more and more over the years, “Lord, please do this through me” because I know that I will not be able to do it myself. Learning to put things in every area of life in God’s hands is crucial in committing my life to Him. My decision making is no different; in fact, it is the very beginning of it.
When facing a decision that needs to be made I remember to ask that God would make His will clear to me and that my desire would be turned to what HE would have me to do, not what I think would make ME happy right now. May He open wide the door that He has for me to walk through and close tight (lock, bolt, etc!) the door that is not His will for me.
Sometimes – no, all the time – when I am trying to figure out “which way” I am supposed to go, I feel like a lost puppy. I have literally asked God to hold my hand (yes, just like a little toddler must hold their mama or daddy’s hand) and walk me in the direction of His will. It is a must to understand this, because without the Holy Spirit’s leading/prompting it is hard to discern the right path from the wrong one at times. In order for us to hear the Holy Spirit, we must be sensitive to the still small voice in which God calls. Through constant prayer and a desire to hear and read God’s Word to us, we can know where He is leading us.
I want to reemphasize the fact that it is essential that God’s will becomes the desire of our hearts. Many times our will won’t align with His, but in time, if we are willing to allow God to work in our hearts, He will be faithful to help us see the blessing and fulfillment in the path that is His will.
Beginning and ending the day in prayer should be a constant reminder that communication with our Father is important. Just like the verse in Psalms says, even at noontime we should pray. That goes straight into the next area that I mentioned by bathing every decision in prayer as well. I know I make decisions throughout the day. Some “small” ones like, is what I am about to say positive and God-honoring, or hurtful? I have a choice to make and that is when I need to ask the Lord to help me do the right thing. And also some “big” decisions that may come to me throughout the day that I need to bring to God immediately.
These are just two areas that are very important to look at when trying to be consistent about our prayer life. I could go on, but I hope this is a good start for all of us as we strive towards a more intentional prayer life.