What if I told you that prayer is the most under-developed muscle in a Christian’s life? Would you believe that?
I have no stats to back that statement up outside my own personal life and a few conversations with my friends. There are probably a few that agree having a consistent prayer life is something we all need but rarely see it through. We might say a quick 1-2 minute prayer then mentally check that off to satisfy the achiever in some of us. I’ve said many 1-2 minute prayers and am thankful that God hears them. However, I’m beginning to realize prayer can be much more than what we have normally purposed it for. Prayer can be a catalyst for spiritual growth and intimacy with God.
What if your perspective on prayer was more like Chuck Miller’s? He says, “Prayer is not something you do; it is someone you’re with.” Instead of prayer becoming a task you check off at the end of the day, what if you were more mindful of God’s presence in your life? What if you let each step be purposed in discovering more of who God is and the role you play in His story at work, school, home or when you’re out and about?
So here’s my challenge.
For the rest of the days in May, spend time in God’s presence. For some this will organically happen. For others you’ll have to schedule time for this. Everyone’s process is different because we’re all wired differently to connect with God. So here are a few easy steps to help get you in the groove and start spending time with God in prayer.
1. Make time each day and spend it with God in your PUBLIC LIFE. Prayer is you spending time with God and allowing your voice and thoughts to be intertwined with His. It’s about building your relationship with God rather than asking God to do stuff for you. Of course we pray to God to answer our prayers and God values every minor detail of our lives, but it just cheapens the relationship when you treat God like the Coca-Cola Freestyle in your favorite food joint.
You may want to start by taking something you like to do and invite God to join you in that. Sounds a bit weird, but God wants to be a part you life…not someone who barges in uninvited (we all have those kinds of friends ha-ha). You may not be having intense conversations with God, but just being aware that God is a part of your everyday life will make a difference on how you view prayer. Remember…prayer is not something you do; it is someone you’re with.
2. Make time each day and spend it with God in your PERSONAL LIFE. Start off in a quiet place, outside in a hammock or on a porch. Remove any distractions (silence your mobile device) and ask God to strengthen your spirit to hear His voice. I believe God is always speaking to us in a variety of ways, but we live busy and noisy lives that drown out his voice. Over time, you’ll become more sensitive and receptive to God’s voice. For those who like to listen to music during your quiet time…let me suggest that you put it on pause at the beginning and then after a few moments turn it on. Embrace the silence.
3. Get a friend who’ll keep you accountable. It’s easy to tell yourself you’re going to do the prayer challenge. It becomes real when you partner with someone to do the prayer challenge together. You’ll help each other stay on mission…meaning you’ll make sure you both stay faithful to your commitment. Set a daily reminder on your mobile device. When the notification goes off you can send a message, encouraging your friend to stay strong during the prayer challenge.
Martin Luther said, “To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.” Pretty straightforward! Having a closer relationship with God can’t happen without you spending time with him. Will you take the challenge? I am confident that you’ll discover more about God and yourself when it’s all said and done. You have nothing to lose but everything to gain!
READ THE TRUTH: So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Romans 12:1-2