Yeah – who has time for prayer? We live in such a busy world with a lot of demands on our time. Our kids demand our time, our careers demand our time, our extra-curricular activities demand our time. Now you saying God demands our time – I just don’t have any time to give.
This may sound silly, but in reality – this is how most of us live our lives. We don’t outright say these words, but the way we live and the time we spend on other things, speak louder than our actions, or in this case, our inactions.
The last couple of weeks, The Lord has smacked me between the eyes and brought me to me knees. I always said that prayer is a priority and a value of mine. But if we don’t spend the time in concentrated prayer – then it is just a goal or wishful thinking.
So I have embarked on a journey. A journey to learn how to pray. A journey to pray more. A journey seeking Jesus in my life. Scripture says that we can enter into the presence of God with confidence an boldness (Hebrews 10:19), so this is a significant invitation for me (and us) to pray and seek Jesus. This is how I have started my journey: I have read several things about prayer to prime the pumps:
“A Simple Way to Pray” by Martin Luther
“Does Prayer Change Things?” by RC Sproul (which is free BTW)
“A Simple Way To Pray” by RC Sproul (based on Luthers book)
This is just a start and we should also be driven to the Scripture. This resources point us to places like The Lords Prayer and The 10 Commandments. We should also look at the multitude of prayers in Scripture to teach us as well. Just off the top of my head I think of Daniels Prayer, Mary’s Prayer, Jesus’ Prayer in John 17, all the Prophets speaking to God, and the list continues to grow. My point? If prayer is prevalent in Scripture, why is not in our lives as followers? I am not talking about “well I pray in my car on my way to work” (this really is not prayer BTW) I am talking about getting into our prayer closest and talking to Jesus and allowing Him to talk to us without any distractions. Easy to say (and easy to desire), but very hard to place into practice.
I have started this journey as simple as possible, and want to share with you what I am trying to practice in my life. Here is the form in which I am taking steps in, all you need to remember is A.C.T.S.:
Adoration: Start praying giving glory to Jesus (HE deserves it and more)
Confession: we need to confess our sins to Jesus all the time
Thankfulness: the first 2 should spur us to have thankful hearts
Supplication: then we lay our requests at the foot of the cross
Did you notice that we make our requests last and not first? We have a tendency to go right to our requests without giving God Glory or even with thankful hearts. No wonder God seems so distant in our prayer life!! This is just a very simple model and form that is easy to remember and easy to apply. In the future, we can grow into the Tabernacle Prayer, The Lords Prayer and other prayer modeled in scripture. The most important thing is that we PRAY!
Through this, God has also prompted me to do a sermon series every year on prayer at Grace Church. This way we can learn and grow in community in this vital area of the Christian life.
So, will you join me in this journey? Will you have the boldness to enter into the Throne Room of Grace? The invitation is there for all of us. I hope we all start our time with Jesus, not just carve it out or give Him the leftovers. I truly believe that we will be blessed when we do. Let the journey continue…