Prayer Warrior?

I have a confession to make. I am not a prayer warrior. As a matter of fact, I am a pretty lousy pray-er. I do a fairly good job of talking to God throughout the day, but when it comes to dedicated prayer time, I’m seriously lacking. My mind wanders. I think about things that happened during the day or make plans for the next day. Most embarrassing, I fall asleep. I guess in that respect, I have good company in the disciples, who fell asleep while Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Prayer is one of the best ways to strengthen and grow our relationship with God. Jesus even taught us how to pray in the Lord’s Prayer. The Bible speaks of so many of the benefits and promises of prayer:
“Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart”, (Psalm 37:4); “For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened”, (Luke 11:10); “Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective”, (James 5: 13-16); “Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him”, (1 John 3: 21-22).
But should we only pray in order to ask things of God? In his book, “How to Pray”, R.A. Torrey gives us 10 reasons to pray: there is a devil, prayer is God’s appointed way for obtaining things, the apostles considered prayer to be the most important business in their lives, prayer played an important part in the earthly life of Christ, praying is the most important part of the current ministry of the risen Christ, prayer is the way to receive mercy and grace from God, prayer allows us to receive fullness of joy, prayer is God’s appointed way for us to receive freedom from anxiety and obtain peace, prayer readies our hearts for Christ’s return, and prayer accomplishes things.
So why is prayer so hard? God hears and responds to our prayers. He may not give us the answers that we want, but He is faithful and answers our prayers in His perfect wisdom and timing. Here are some ideas I have learned over the years, and will pray to implement in order to make my prayer life pleasing to God:
•?When Roy Patterson, of New Life Community Church, spoke at ACC a couple years ago, he taught a pattern for prayer that has stuck with me: Praise God, Repent of your sins, Ask what is in your heart, Yield to God’s answer – whether it is yes or no.
•?Write down your prayers. You can’t fall asleep when your mind is engaged. Another benefit of this is that you can go back in your prayer journal to see all that God has done in your life. How cool is that!??•?Find a prayer space. Maybe you like the outdoors; maybe you have a comfy chair in your house.
•?Make prayer a non-negotiable. We make time for our favorite T.V. shows – how much more important is God in our lives
?•?Don’t wait until bedtime….if you are like me, you are asking for trouble
•?Pray before getting out of bed in the morning
•?Be honest – God can take it!
My prayer for all of us is that we will honor our Lord with prayer and thanksgiving at all times.
Guest blogger: Kris Milashus??