Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Struggling To Pray

Pray never comes easy.

I have been a Christian for over 30 years and while I know the power of prayer and love to pray, it is a discipline that is not easy.

Prayer is Talking and Listening with God

I think one of the biggest reasons is that our mind is so full of thoughts. They bounce around when we close our eyes to focus on God.

In desperate times and when praying with others (even another), it is easier to focus on God and the actual act of prayer. When alone I can be quite lazy.

I remember back to my early days as a Christian-- how I labored trying to train myself to kneel down before God and pray. Many times I ended up asleep. When I slowed myself down, and finally worked through all of the distractions popping into my head, I simply relaxed and dosed off.

I would wake up startled and often disappointed in myself, but thinking the Lord must certainly consider the fact that I was earnest trying.

I am grateful I learned that prayer is a conversation, not a time of pure silent meditation or a rattling off of a laundry list of request or even a written/memorized prayer. In prayer I come close to God in a real personal one on one relationship.

Prayer must be practiced. 

The position of prayer has less to do with our physical stance--how we sit, kneel, bow or lay-- and much more to do with our mental stance--understanding who God is and who we are to Him. As we grow in our understanding of God, our way of approaching Him becomes different. With God, we can only be honestly who we are and can not pretend, as we so often do with other. God knows my present condition, and therefore, that greatly influences my approach to God and my quality of time with Him.

If I come to God, when I am being disobedient in an area of my life, He brings it up rather quickly. If I want to continue and enter in His presence any further, I must deal with it. If I don't, I am kidding myself that there would be any further purpose to keep praying. Therefore, many times prayer is cut short depending on my need to address something first or simply if I am unwilling to agree with God and repent.

Other times when I begin to pray I think about all of my concerns, the needs I am aware of and the desire to bring others before God, I know He already knows my thoughts so I race over like glancing at a mental list. Sometimes God will bring one person or item to the forefront, so I spend time on it, but I find this as a way of letting the Holy Spirit lead our time together.

Recalling all the years when my children were young and I simply could not find a quiet moment to hear God or even my own thoughts, and realizing that now that I have much quiet time (having older children), I sadly know I am out of practice and lazy. 

I know God is always with me and I can talk to Him anytime during the day, therefore, my urgency to take advantage of what quiet moments I can get is diminished. I don't cherish the present moment so much. And I think, I can pray later, but never do.

Be Honest.

If we are honest with ourself, it can be painful. It exposes our lackadaisical attitude about prayer. I am ashamed - but rightly so! And even still, this is not a reason to stop me from being before my Lord and entering His throne room. For it is when I do get honest with myself, that real prayer can begin.

Dear Lord, Forgive me for neglecting our relationship. I talk a lot about You but I am wrong in not spending time together with You. I want to quickly state how important you are to me, but like Paul I have let many cocks crow morning after morning, denying You the rightful place in my life --- in actually spending time with You. Forgive me for living the outward life of the Christian but neglecting the one one one private life in my actual relationship with You. 

I am ready to change. Help me. In You I have hope. 

Your darling daughter, Lindy

Now let me go, I want to spend time with God. 

1 comment:

  1. I feel overwhelmed by needs, problems etc and underwhelmed by Gods precence in my life. Its all a huge struggle. I don't enjoy praying. I feel I have a one way relationship with God. I pray...nothing comes back.


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