We all tend to pray when the pressure is on. When there is a need for breakthrough, we know what it is to cry out to God. But, how are your prayer muscles? Are you able to regularly "lift" prayers to God? Or does it seem like a big push to pray longer than twenty seconds? Keep Reading...
Colossians 4:2 - Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
It is in prayer that we cultivate relationship with God. It is in the listening and the responding that we learn God's character and ways. If we are not practiced or exercised in prayer, our knowledge and experience of God will stay at a minimum. So, how do we start?
First, we need to understand that prayer is meant to be both an event and an ongoing process. You might like to run once a day for exercise (or maybe should start :)). This is a focused event in your day. But, you spend the rest of your day walking around your house, office or school. So too, prayer should be a focused exercise in our lives - "devote yourselves to prayer." Colossians 4:2; Matthew 5:5-13 But also, it is to be a continuous experience - "pray continually." 1 Thessalonians 5:17
The best way to practice prayer is to practice listening to God. The reason we have lackluster prayer times is that we are not being prompted by God how we should pray. We find ourselves repeating the same phrases of, "Bless him, protect her and be with them…." Take a focused minute each day to ask God how you should pray. Follow his prompting. When you "run out" of things to pray, pause again and listen. Your ears are just as vital as your mouth in prayer.
Steps for Prayer Fitness
Step One - Ask God to give you a specific time in your day set aside to listen and then pray what he gives you. This could be a 3-5 minute slot of time. The point is finding a workable time that you can keep this up on a regular basis.
Step Two - We all need to be reminded to get up and walk (how many fitness trackers and step counters do we own?). What can you do to remind yourself to get up and pray? This is the "throughout your day" prayer. Perhaps you offer a quick thanksgiving to God… tell him you love him, or ask him to speak to you again. These moments of prayer add up to many steps of spiritual fitness.
No matter where you are at in your prayer life, you can start exercising today! So, pause, listen, pray and make the start.
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