3/26/14

Prayer: No More Excuses

Prayer is something that all Christians do. 
Prayer is something that all Christians want to do better. 
Prayer is something that Christians struggle with the most.

It seems so easy as a child:
"Close your eyes and bow your head."
"Just talk to God."

I used to make excuses as to why I did not devote the time I should to prayer:

1. I have nothing to offer. - I feel unworthy.  The sin of yesterday and of today sometimes way on my heart.  Of course we are unworthy - that is why confession is such an important part of prayer. We come to God to ask Him to cleanse us from our sins - DAILY. Keeping a short sin account is so vital to having a healthy relationship with God.  That does not mean I have to be perfect, but I realize all the grace that is available to me.  I strive to abide in that grace daily.

2. There are just too many people to pray for. - I have decided to stop focusing on ALL the people I could pray for. I am sure your lists is a mile high as well.  Instead, I allow the Lord to bring to mind who He wants me to pray for.  I have found myself praying for people I wouldn't have thought of otherwise.

3. I do not have the time. - One of the sections in Beth's book that you pray every day is "Acknowledgement" - which is basically giving to God your heart, mind, and your life for that day. I have started giving God my "To-Do Lists." I make plans, but God directs my steps. I have stopped worrying how I will "get it all done." I get done what God wants me to get done when I have given over to Him my plans for the day.

4. I do not have any quiet time. - As a mother of little ones I find it very hard sometimes to find a quiet moment. Most of my moments are interrupted quiet moments. No longer is that my excuse. I get the children busy doing something, and I retreat up to my room. I may be interrupted two or three times in the twenty or thirty minutes it takes me to read and pray - but I press on. I do not let those interruptions let me lose my goal: spending time with God. My life will always have interruptions.  That can no longer be an excuse.

Those are my excuses.  You may not have the same hindrances to prayer as I do. What are your prayer excuses?  Time? Energy? Sin? Lack of knowledge? Lack of desire?

Stop making excuses and start praying.  Some tips that I have found helpful are:

1. Make it a priority. You make time for the things you care about.
2. Get a prayer journal.  There is something concrete and intimate about writing out your prayers.
3. Get a guide. Beth's guide I've included below, or find one you like better.
4. Do not make your prayers long.
5. Just start.
6. Strive to daily set that time apart for prayer.

Beth Moore's Guide: P.R.A.I.S.E
Praise - Give God glory.
Repentance - Confess your sin.
Acknowledgement - Submit yourself to His authority
Intercession - Pray for others.
Supplication - Pour out your heart to God.
Equipping - Ask for God's help for your own life.

Taken from: Whispers of Hope: A Seventy-Day Prayer Guide.