Do you struggle with praying consistently?
Maybe you start each Monday with good intentions to spend some time chattin’ it up with God, but then the dog got sick and the kids were late to school; the car broke down and your dinner almost caught the kitchen on fire; you find yourself sitting on the couch at the end of the long day, trying to shut your brain down while watching re-runs of Bob’s Burgers.
You are exhausted.
The time to pray flew out the window, along with your sanity and all motivation to make God a priority.
And the cycle continues.
Each day gives us an opportunity to look more like God,
but why is it so hard?
Look, I am not one to point fingers- I have skipped prayer more times than I would like to admit- but isn’t our faith supposed to be bigger and better than this? Aren’t we called to life full and abundant and joyful? We aren’t meant to scrape by on pennies in our faith- we should be rich and overflowing! Prayer shouldn’t be a heavy burden we carry. It should be a connection with the Creator that we crave.
There is hope. Jesus isn’t one to point fingers either, and there is not some cloud of judgement hovering over you, waiting to strike you with lightning anytime you forget to pray. One skipped appointment = one cruddy thing in your day? Come on! He isn’t a petty debt collector. Jesus didn’t come to tally your mistakes- He came to redeem them.
So let’s look at prayer the way God intends us to- not to cause guilt and impending doom, but as a conversation with a trusted friend. How does the Bible tells us to pray? Consistently, expectantly, and full of thanks:
“Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.” Colossians 4:2
This verse perfectly outlines what our prayer life should look like! As awesome as prayer is, it takes some intentionality on our part (here is where #theFives changed my prayer life dramatically!). Let’s break down the verse:
Devote: It takes an effort on our part to pray. We need to do it consistently. Magic fairy dust is not going to cut it- we must determine in our hearts to spend time with God and actually do it. Our persistence is an expression of our faith that God answers our prayers! The more we bring Him our requests, the more we are trusting Him to come through on those needs!
Keeping alert: We must be expectant. God is always working to answer our prayers, but it may look different than we expected. Our eyes must be searching to see God working in all things. When you pray, look for the answers that may be happening right under your nose.
…With an attitude of thanksgiving: What is the posture of your heart when you pray? Are you praying with a doubting heart? Are you already “speaking death” over your prayers?
“I guess I can pray about it, but we all know nothing is going to change with X, Y, Z…”
God wants us to pray with expectation of the good and be thankful that He is working before we ever see the results! Some obstacles take time. Meanwhile, let your prayers reflect a grateful heart that believes boldly that He is the God of all change and restoration!
If you want to experience this type of prayer, write Colossians 4:2 somewhere you will see it often. Read it every time before you pray. I promise God will bring it to your mind anytime He answers your prayers.
Why do we pray?
Because the Bible tells us to.
Because we love God.
Because every day is a new day, and today may be the one we choose to pray, no matter what.