Prayer seems to be almost synonymous with faith. Even for religions that do not believe in Jesus as the risen Lord, prayer or a time of spiritual mediation is always important. Why?
I know for myself that making meaningful time for prayer can be a challenge. I wake up early every morning and I spend about an hour before the kids wake up reading my bible and thinking about what I’ve read. If I’m going to take time for prayer, it is usually then. After I’ve finished my readings, if I have time, I will write down my thoughts to God. Things I want him to help me work on, things I am grateful for. But note the caveat…”if I have time”.
That’s not to say that I don’t talk to God every day. Often in my car, I will have a conversation or say a quick thanks, send up a plea for guidance. But that isn’t really what I’m talking about when I’m talking about making time for prayer.
There are at least 27 bible verses talking about Jesus spending time with his Father in prayer.
“After He had sent the crowds away, he went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone.” Matthew 14:23
“It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God.” Luke 6:12
In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.” Mark 1:35
“But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.” Luke 5:16
How often have you heard the phrase “WWJD – What would Jesus do?” We use Jesus as a model of how we should love our neighbor and have compassion, to be charitable. But how often do we use Him as a model for our prayer life?
I know that if I want to continue to grow in my own Christian journey, to grow even closer to my heavenly Father then I need to make quiet time in prayer a priority.
If you don’t typically pray, try making a point every day, at the same time, maybe over your morning coffee, or before you close your eyes at night, of taking time to have a conversation with your Father in heaven. If you don’t know what to pray or how to pray…start with the prayer Jesus gave his disciples. ”Our Father, who art in heaven…”
I know that the times I get down on my knees and really give myself over to the experience of prayer have always been incredibly restorative. I’m going to set myself a goal for November to make prayer more of a priority in my own life. What about you?