Recently, an area in which I have been challenged to improve is my prayer life. Many times in the Bible we are commanded to pray continually, praise the Lord, lay our cares on the Lord, ask God what we need, etc. There are so many wonderful examples in the scriptures where we see dedicated men and women of God cry out to the Lord and speak to Him in prayer. The psalms are full of heartfelt prayers of both sorrow and praise to God (e.g. Psalm 73). Jesus often secluded himself to dedicate time to prayer (Luke 5:16; Mark 1:35).
We are called to follow the examples of Christ and walk as He walked, and this includes modeling His prayer life! In this post, I will outline 3 areas in which I am striving to improve my own personal life. Perhaps the things I have discovered that help me be to consistent will be an encouragement and challenge to you as well!
- Prayer is an area in which many people struggle. We pray before meals and when we really have a need, but are we setting aside time to pray? Jesus made time to speak to His Father, and we should be striving to follow in His footsteps! Having a set time to talk to the Lord can be a great help as we strive to spend time with our Father every day. Just as you get to know another person by spending time with them, so also we get to know God more by spending time with Him.
- Another area in which we struggle (myself included) is our attention span. It can be so easy to begin praying and then let our minds wander to things we need to do that day, upcoming events, and anything and everything else! One thing that I’ve discovered to be of great benefit to me is keeping a prayer journal. It is so helpful to sit down and
physically write out my prayers to the Lord, and this helps me to stay focused and really think about what I’m saying.
- Don’t forget to praise! It can be so easy to become caught up in our needs and the areas in which we are struggling that we forget who we are talking to – the one who is SO worthy of our praise! When we pray, we converse with the Creator of the universe who passionately pursues a relationship with His children. He is always good, always wise, and always just. I find that beginning my time with the Lord in praise to Him, recognizing
His characteristics and who He is, greatly helps me to properly orient myself before Him. If I have a need or burden, reminding myself who is on my side by praising God and voicing His great goodness and power tremendously help me to have peace and contentment in tough situations. Once I remember who He is and recognize His sovereignty and control, I can then bring my requests to Him, sincerely praying for His will to be done, trusting that all of His ways are good. This is true peace!
Consistency is so important in our prayer lives and really helps us to be more aware of the Lord working in our lives throughout the day, helping us to see more clearly when He answers our prayers. Getting to know our perfect Father is the most wonderful thing we can do, and regularly conversing with Him is key if we want to know Him intimately.