Prayer is NOT Easy!
Prayer is not easy… there I said it! Recently I had been really struggled with my prayer life until something very cool happened. Actually what happened first was that I was really out of shape and needed to get back on track. Since going to the gym gives me the creeps, I decided to do something I enjoy, basketball. I found a school that no one would be around and just shot hoops every day for about 30-45 min a day.
During these quiet times alone I not only felt my body get back on track but my soul began to recover from a lack of quality time with God. I found myself just talking to God. We talked about anything and everything from… how bad my shot was to finances to career and life decisions. It has been a powerful dynamic for growth during this extremely busy and stressful season of my life. I realized not only was I disconnected from God but even more I was missing out on a relationship. Missing out on life giving connection, encouragement, strength and hope.
No doubt prayer and communion with God is no easy task. Charles Spurgeon once said, “Prayer itself is an art which only the Holy Ghost can teach us. He is the giver of all prayer. Pray for prayer – pray till you can pray.” When we feel unable to pray, we start with praying for prayer. You and I were created for relationship (with God and others). Although prayer is and can be hard work it is also more commonplace to our lives than we even realize.
Recall for a moment the last really good conversation you had with a good friend or maybe your spouse. You most likely don’t look back on it as “hard work”… Do you? It came naturally. Likewise, we too can have that kind of natural conversation with the God of the universe every day.
The problem is that we have a natural tendency to complicate all relationships in our lives. This is especially true in regards to our relationship with God. We think we need to come to him with grand, ah inspiring words and theology. Although praise and proper respect for God are essential to a healthy prayer life, we need to also remember that God is our Heavenly Father and that he wants to sit and just connect with us.
Prayer, or conversation, with God is something that (facilitated by God the Holy Spirit) develops with consistent practice just like a good conversation with a friend or with someone with whom you have great chemistry or commonality. These things happen through getting to know the other person. The good news is that God already knows us, now we seek to understand and know Him more through conversational prayer. Incorporating bible reading into your prayer is very helpful for developing this dynamic.
This week practice talking with God in your car or during some other “normal” part of your daily routine. Talk to Him about the little things in your life (the price of gas, the weather or some joy or pain you are experiencing these days). At first you may feel strange as if you are having a conversation with yourself but don’t be afraid (God the Holy Spirit is with you). If all else fails “pray for prayer – pray till you can pray!”
How about you? How have your conversations with God been lately? I would love to hear from you.