Prayer is a very important part of our Christian life. So, why do many Christians find it so hard to pray? Maybe it’s because we have the wrong attitude about prayer. Prayer does not have to be “hard work” where we must remember to pray for everything and everybody in one setting. Prayer does not have to take place at a specific time or last for a set amount of time. Prayer is simply talking to God. We can all do it anytime, anywhere, and as often as needed.
If you feel like your prayer life could use a little refreshing try these tips to rejuvenate your time with God.
Change the location.
If you’ve made your prayer time a ritual that takes place at a certain place each day, try switching it up a bit. Remember, we have a relationship with God, not a ritual with God. Although there’s nothing wrong with having a specific place where you like to pray at a set time (this helps us develop discipline initially), a routine can become boring and lifeless if we let it. Try praying while you go for a walk or even in a different room. It really doesn’t matter what you decide to do differently, the principal is just to break up the monotony.
Change your method.
Some people like to pray silently with their eyes closed. Others like to pace back and forth while they make confessions from the Word of God out loud. Whatever you normally do is fine. But, trying something outside of your comfort zone may energize your prayers. Try communicating with God in a brand new way. How about writing him a letter or sending him an email (I’m not sure what His email address is, it’s probably something like firstname.lastname@example.org; God knows what you are writing anyway, so he’ll get it even without you sending it). Imagine when you pray that Jesus will come to your house just like any friend would to comfort you when you are having trouble and give you good advice. The point is to relate to God as if He is really present and listening to you, because He is.
Change your expectations.
God hears us immediately when we start praying. Sometimes we may not feel like He has heard us because we do not have an emotional experience, like crying or overwhelming feelings of joy. So, we may pray longer and harder trying to obtain that emotional high. But, just because we don’t always “feel” God, that doesn’t mean He isn’t listening. Just like in any relationship, there will be highs, lows, and plateaus. Think about it. Every time you interact with your spouse, friend or brother you aren’t in tears or leaping with excitement. The same is true in your relationship with God. Sometimes when we pray God will just be communicating instructions or a simple word of encouragement. Just know that He cares and is faithful to answer our prayers.
Don’t try to fool God when you are praying. This will affect your intimacy with God and hinder your prayers from being answered. If you are harboring unforgiveness in your heart towards someone, tell God about it and ask Him to help you forgive that person. If you have done something that you know is sin, confess your wrongdoing and ask God to forgive you. Once you have cleared your conscience with God, you can speak with Him confidently knowing that you are in right standing with Him. Remember . . .
“The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers.” (1 Peter 3:12, New Living Translation)
Today’s Life Key: Prayer is an expression of relationship with God, not a ritual with God.