If everyone followed your pattern of prayer, would God’s kingdom be strengthened?
Ouch. If every Christian modeled his or her prayer life after my own, I’m not sure that would be a good thing! I definitely have room for improvement in the area of prayer.
For some people, prayer is a non-negotiable in their lives. It’s the first thing they do in the morning, the last thing they do at night, and something they do often during the day—and we’re not talking about two-minute messages fired off to God. For others, prayer is something that happens in between everything else on their to-do list… if it happens at all. I wonder if our prayer lives are starting to follow “social networking” and other modern communication formats—Twitter, Facebook, quick e-mails, text messages. God is not a buddy on our Friends list that we should keep in touch with now and then. He’s God. He’s our Saviour and Lord. He’s our heavenly Father. He’s God. (I know, I already said it but I think it bears repeating!)
The Bible says…
“Pray continually.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
“The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16)
“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” (Colossians 4:2)
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” (Ephesians 6:18)
We all know that prayer is essential, but I wonder if we really believe that it makes a difference. If we did, wouldn’t we pray more? Also, do we realize that it’s something God commands us to do? And if he commands it but we don’t do it, isn’t that disobedience? Why do we sometimes behave as though prayer is optional, something we can do at our convenience?
Here’s one tip for improving our pattern of prayer: “Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.” (1 Peter 4:7) Maybe it’s time to de-clutter our minds and hearts so that we can better focus on our relationship with God, keeping in mind that a relationship requires interaction and dialogue—talking and listening.