When my husband and I were dating, we used to spend hours on the phone because we were in a long-distance relationship. Because of the distance, I cherished the moments we spent talking to each other. We contacted through video messaging, texts, and the phone. We used whatever means necessary to continue sharing moments together. We were committed to getting to know one another and to sharing intimate details together. It seemed so easy, and eventually, that routine became second nature.
Prayer works in a similar way. We should be willing to spend hours getting to know our Creator so much that it becomes our routine. The Bible states, “Pray without ceasing,” (I Thessalonians 5:16-17). Since this is our Christian mandate, how often do you pray?
Why praying can being difficult.
While growing up, I often felt like I didn’t have much to pray for, therefore making my prayers short. I thought that there wasn’t much to say to God, besides the obvious. I often said the same rehearsed words during prayer time. I mostly prayed at night before bed, and before eating, so it felt routinely during that time in my life. However, this kind of prayer pattern was not intimacy with God.
As I got older, I realized my prayers were short because I didn’t know God well enough to tell him anything. Imagine speaking to your best friend about something that’s been on your mind, then a friend you aren’t close with sits next to you guys.
You would probably shift the conversation away from that intimate topic immediately, because you don’t know the other person well enough to tell him or her anything personal.
When we pray, the way we speak to God shows the level of friendship we have with Him. We usually have more to say to a friend, rather than an associate or a stranger.
The Opportunity that Prayer gives.
The more you speak to God, the more you can speak to Him. This means, the more I talked about my struggles, what angered me, and my desires, the more my prayer time became longer and efficient. I became comfortable with telling God more about what I was going through. I began to open up because I was now building a friendship.
When Jesus was here on earth, He prayed constantly. He would wake up early in the morning to pray. Often, He went missing and the disciples would search for Him, only to find Him praying.
On the hardest night of His life, Jesus prayed earnestly because He knew He would be crucified. As hard as it was, He prayed that God’s will would be done. Jesus prayed ALL the time, about everything. Morning and night, He spent time talking to God. God was His priority and everything else had to wait because of that.
Praying for others.
Without talking to God, we may also miss an opportunity to pray for others. I noticed I had a pattern of telling people, “I’ll pray for you,” but sometimes, I just never got around to it. Saying that phrase had become a second nature thing, until one day, I made a real attempt to pray for the person I said it to.
In my journals, I began writing down the names of the people and the things they needed prayer over. I learned to pray for others, which helped me to add to my prayer life.
What keeps us from prayer
When we find ourselves making excuses not to pray, it means we don’t Have God as a first priority, or even as a friend to us. We consider Him an afterthought in our day. Sometimes, we save prayer for the very last part of our day, right before bed, but we’re often too tired or too busy to even do so.
However, people make time for what they want to -so do you want to make time for God? When I was dating my husband, I made time for him, despite the distance. We were both busy with graduate school and work, but we always found time to talk, no matter what. If you are barely making prayer time, you should check your level of commitment to God.
If we wanted to know God, we would talk to Him; we would listen to Him as often as we could. We would unload our problems onto Him. We would no longer limit Him to Sunday mornings, but speak to Him daily, instead.
You should pray as often as you can.
Devotion to Prayer
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. | 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. | James 5:16
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. | Colossians 4:2
But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret will reward you. | Matthew 6:6
Asking in Prayer
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. | Philippians 4:6-7
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. | Mark 11:24
The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. | Psalm 145:18