One of the major spiritual disciplines for the Christian is prayer. I'm not talking about praying over our food or when there's a tragedy. We are comfortable with praying when we are experiencing sickness or difficult season of life. However, it takes discipline to train ourselves to pray without ceasing and to take everything to God in prayer. There in lies the reason why so many Christians do not have a significant prayer life. We don't set aside time for praying. And when we don't set aside time to pray then it will get crowded out by other things in our daily schedules.
John Piper gives a great analogy: "If you want to take a 4 week vacation, you don't just get up one summer morning and say, 'Hey, let's go today!' You won't have anything ready. You won't know where to go. Nothing has been planned. But that is how many of us treat prayer. We get up day after day and realize that significant times of prayer should be a part of our life, but nothing's ever ready. We don't know where to go. Nothing has bee planned. No time. No place. No procedure.....If you want renewal in your life of prayer you must plan to see it."
Praying consistently for our friends and family requires a plan. Praying for wisdom to raise our children according to God's Word requires a plan. We must schedule time each day to bring our requests and needs to God. We should also train ourselves to take things to God as they come up instead of going straight to worrying and being anxious about them.
Prayer was not always a big part of my life. A few years ago, a mentor of mine gave me some godly counsel on the necessity of prayer in the life of a Christian. I realized that I wasn't taking ALL of my needs to God in prayer. I would take the big stuff, but worry about the little things and try to handle them on my own. What freedom I found when I began taking all of my disappointments, fustrations, questions, uncertainties, complaints, desires and needs to God in prayer. It began to change me from the inside out.
Now there are still many times when I find myself worrying or being anxious about something and thinking God doesn't care about this little issue. When I find myself thinking in that way, I quickly pray and take that need to God. No matter how small or insignificant I may think it is, God cares.
Over the last year or so I've begun praying scripture over my children daily. Right now I'm participating in the 21 Days of Prayer for Sons. If you have sons, I highly recommend joining the challenge. Each day we pray for a different area of their lives. We pray scriptures over those areas and we pray for our sons by name. It's very humbling to pray God's Word specifically over each one of my boys. It is helping me to focus on these areas of their lives through the lens of God's standard and character, not mine.
Many people across the country are joining together today for the National Day of Prayer. I encourage you to make prayer a part of your daily life and see how God will use it to change you and the way you see those around you.
I am a Christian, a wife, a mom, a VBS crafter, a coupon clipper, a thrift store shopper, a football fan, a cook, a student of the Bible and an avid reader.