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I am into week 3 of the Becoming a Prayer Warrior book, and I’m struggling in my prayers. While I’m not letting it sit there, I feel like it’s probably normal. See, prayer is hard. Diligent prayer is striving in labor, and distractions and apathy can so easily pull us away.
Why is it that prayer, which is so essential, can be so easily pushed aside? How many Christians do you think REALLY fully engage in prayer? How many do you think pursue it as a both a daily labor and as a joyful experience of God? What about you? I am fairly average, I think, and I am sure I’m not alone in this struggle.
There is such a strange tension in the Christian life: Personal responsibility AND complete dependence on God to carry it out. We are called take action and be focused in purpose. However, we are also told that any work that we do for the kingdom is through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Prayer is this way. We should pray at all times, labor in prayer, be diligent in prayer, and be persistent in it. There is responsibility there. Becoming a Prayer Warrior offers encouragement in self-discipline and practical steps for working through distraction and apathy. It is the nuts and bolts of taking up our responsibility to pray out of a deep love for God and for others.
Then there’s me. I’m utterly incapable of remaining diligent in prayer. My self-discipline lasts a few days or weeks, tops, before I slip back into my norm. I end up feeling defeated, or worse, barely noticing at all. This is not what I want. What I want is a prayer life that is rich and deep and fruitful. Don’t you?
Prayer is essential for us, like breathing. When we grow apathetic in our prayers, life ceases to be what it is meant to be. God intends for us to be in constant communion with Him, talking and listening and praying according to His will. He wants to share His heart with us as we pray for others.
Here’s the thing: I can’t do it by my own power. Neither can you, right? Just like so many things in our life as followers of Christ, we are called to be disciplined in this area, yet can only do so by the inspiration and empowerment of the Holy Spirit.
So, how do we pray by the Spirit? I’m not going to pretend I have the answers here. To be honest, I suddenly feel like a complete newbie in prayer and am just walking along, holding God’s hand and learning whatever He has for me in this journey.
Here is where I am right now:
- I’ve been praying for a greater desire to pray and be disciplined in prayer
- I’ve been asking to be filled with the Spirit in my prayers
- I’ve been asking God to help me hear His voice
- I’ve been praying that He would open my eyes to see His answers
We say it all the time about reading our Bibles, and the same is true about prayer: the more we do it, the more we want to do it. The more we experience God and enjoy the breathing in and out of the Holy Spirit in our lives, the more it becomes simply how we live and who we are.
God is showing me what it really means to be diligent and self-disciplined while begin completely dependent on the Spirit to do so.
What is God teaching you about prayer? When do you struggle most with distraction or apathy?
Read the rest of the posts in the Faithful Prayer series and get your own copy of the Becoming a Prayer Warrior ebook by Susan Evans.
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This Post Has 5 Comments
Susan Evans28 Jun 2014
This post was beautiful and insightful. True prayer warriors are often in this place. But you’re right about the fact that the more you pray, the easier it is to actually commune with God. It’s like a muscle that you exercise.
Amy B.28 Jun 2014
Wonderful stuff, you really can’t go wrong with more prayer. The years with small children are hard, hard, hard for a mom who finds it difficult to pray when there’s no uninterrupted time to be still and listen for Him. Even more than wisdom, I would suggest you pray that He will teach you to know, recognize and hear His voice clearly so you aren’t deceived by the sound of your own harried or wishful thoughts or by other voices. He made communication, so He’s very good and doing it and will respond to your earnest desire to speak with Him in a way that works for your scattered and wearying season of raising children, but you have to ask. And I completely agree with Susan here that it is like a muscle that will grow stronger with time. Hang in there!
Mary Collins29 Jun 2014
Good post. I think the problem with prayer is most people, including myself, become discouraged quickly. When the answer doesn’t come right away and in the format we expect, we walk away. That is way faith comes in. That is when I start talking to myself. “Do you believe what God’s word says or not?” If you do, then you fight to stay with it. To not listen to what the enemy is whispering in your ear. We have to keep talking to him, at least I do. Otherwise, I would lose my mind.
Lisa M. (aka. Lisa @ Farm Fresh)1 Jul 2014
what a lovely post! I find that I have a lack of prayer due to distraction…I KNOW that I feel refreshed and nourished when I pray–but I let things get in the way. So my prayers include many pleas to give me a heart to desire to pray.
annette @ A Net In Time5 Jul 2014
Exercising our prayer muscles. Tis a good thing to do eh? 🙂 YOu’ve called me again to diligence.