Breaking Through Non-Prayerful Living (Part 4)

Monday, March 30, 2015

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” (Ephesians 6:18)

DISCIPLINED PRAYERS

Why is it that we can be so disciplined when it comes to our careers, our school, our daily habits and chores, but can't seem to be disciplined when it comes to prayer?

Over the past few weeks, we've talked about letting God do His work in unbelievable prayers; we’ve discussed not giving up and watching God do the impossible; and we’ve also shared learning humility when we pray in public.

Prayer is not just something we say, it’s something we do, and a necessity to practice.

It’s interesting that many of us won’t miss a physical meal, because our minds and bodies are disciplined to know our need for food. However, we often forsake the daily spiritual meal of sweet communion with our Father in prayer. Just like food, prayer gives us strength to perform tasks for each day. It fills us with nourishment to ease us of discomfort. It heals us from things that have hurt us. Prayer requires discipline, if it is ever going to help us!

Prayer gives power to our lifeless situations.

Is there a situation you're going through that you want to bring life to? Remember when the disciples wondered why they couldn't heal the boy that was demon-possessed? Jesus told them they couldn’t heal him because they weren't praying enough (Matthew 17:21, Mark 9:29). They basically hadn't created a healthy habit of prayer. Does this mean that just because we pray we will get whatever we want? No, it means that we’ve trusted God enough to hand over our needs so that He can bless us with His desires and fulfill His purpose in our lives. But still...are you praying enough?

So, how do we create a healthy habit of prayer? The best way to learn discipline is to practice it. Discipline is training which makes one more able to regulate him or herself; it is practicing something consistently so that it becomes second nature.

Discipline in prayer is going to the Father on such a consistent basis that it becomes one’s sole approach to regulating life’s troubles, celebrating life’s joys and commemorating the life and sacrifice of Christ!

The person who is disciplined in prayer regularly seeks God for guidance, forgiveness, strength, answers, and refreshing. How many times do you find yourself practicing prayer? Is it second nature or a last resort? We all have the same amount of hours in a day to find time to focus on God; yet we often give up, get tired, or even refuse to keep praying, making our prayer lives not only deficient, but ineffective.

We can show discipline in prayer by:

* Setting aside a specific time each day or night to pray (start with 5 or 10 minutes).
* Praying for those in the church bulletin or reading the newspaper and praying for our nation and God’s help.
* Writing down our prayers and keeping track of God’s answers.
* Incorporating prayer with another task that doesn’t require much thought (i.e., washing dishes, exercising, working in a garden, rocking a baby to sleep, or folding clothes).
* Finding a Bible passage or a hymn as a template for prayer.
* Praying out loud if being quiet makes us sleepy.
* Creating a weekly or monthly topical study to help focus our prayers (i.e., Week 1 – pray for peace, Week 2 – pray for others, Week 3 – pray for a new transition, new attitude, or new opportunity, etc.).

We need prayer because we need God.

God may already know what we need before we ask Him (Matthew 6:8), yet prayer helps us acknowledge our need for Him and develop our dependence on Him to handle what He already knows. If you want to build up your relationship with Christ, and fall deeper into love and fellowship with the Father, prayer is a passionate practice to pursue.

As you seek ways to be more disciplined in your prayer life, remember, there’s no “perfect” way to pray, just a willing heart that desires communication with God!

Questions for Reflection:

1) What is keeping/distracting you from a more dedicated lifestyle of prayer?
2) What practice can you develop to be more interested and disciplined in prayer?
3) How do you think your life would change if you practiced consistent prayer? And what issue in your life would improve if you were more disciplined in praying about it?

* We want to thank you all for joining us for our Mini Devotional Series: Breaking Through Non-Prayerful Living. We've truly enjoyed walking through this journey of deep communion with the Father with you! Feel free to continue to share your thoughts here on the blog or connect with us via our Facebook page. If you have any questions about prayer or would like us to pray for you, please contact us at swapideas2011@gmail.com. We would love to learn more about you so that we may all grow together in the Lord! *


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