At many church services and worship experiences, we are admonished to pray. We go to prayer meetings where we devote a special time for giving praise and adoration to God, and for making intercession on behalf of those in need. But I’m sure many of you can relate to the fact that we sometimes feel inadequate when it comes to our personal prayer lives. I feel this way sometimes too. We offer up excuses as to why we’re not praying as much as we should…but what can we do to get past the excuses?
We sometimes say “my schedule is so busy…work, family, church activities…when am I supposed to get it done?” There are just not enough hours in the day to do everything on our to-do lists, from work to our businesses to school work to volunteer activities…the list can go on!
This post is not meant to beat anyone (or myself up), but is meant to encourage. I want you to see (and I want to remind myself) that even in our busy lives, we can communicate with God on a regular basis. Please don’t see prayer as something to be checked off a list (the planner in me has a tendency to do that sometimes), but as an opportunity to be in the presence of God, no matter where we may be physically.
Psalm 55:17 says that “Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.” Do they mean that literally? Are we supposed to pray every morning, every afternoon and every evening? Let’s not get legalistic here….if we put too much focus on the morning, noon and evening thing, we’re becoming more religious and not spiritual. I agree with what Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible says about this verse: “And now, though we are not tied down to these exact and precise times of prayer, yet this teaches us that we ought to pray frequently and constantly, and that a day should not pass without it…” At some point in our day, we should offer a prayer to God, whether it’s a prayer of thanksgiving, confession, adoration or petition.
Do you have a commute to work? Instead of listening to the comedian on the radio or the latest hits, take time to pray during your commute (PLEASE don’t close your eyes lol). Or do you workout regularly? How about while you’re on the treadmill or walking in your neighborhood? How about when you’re preparing dinner for the family? I could go on with ideas on when we can pray, but I think you get the picture.
So what if the issue with your prayer life is the fact that you feel inadequate, not with your time, but with how to pray and what to say? Let me help you with this verse from Romans: “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” (Romans 8:26) And what about this verse: “It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” (Romans 8:34). These verses tell me that we have help! (Hallelujah) We have Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit interceding on our behalf when we pray. So since we have help, we shouldn’t worry about how to pray and what to say. We should just talk to God with a sincere and open heart, knowing that two persons of the Trinity have our back in prayer.
I hope this brief message helps you understand that we can have a vibrant and meaningful prayer life. Don’t beat yourself about what you haven’t done in the past. Remember some of the benefits of praying to the Father who hears and answers us: we have a deeper relationship with Him, our faith grows stronger, and we can live more fruitful lives for Him. Keep pressing in prayer and see what God does in your life!