It sounds really basic.
It is fundamental and foundational.
In the busyness of life, with just a few minutes, it feels like we should power-pack more Word, more worship, more books. Without intention, prayer gets pushed to the bottom of the list.
I begin to pray thru my list, which usually includes others. Suddenly I am compelled to text them! “I just wanted to you know I was praying…” — I continue in prayer, once- twice- three times— and now multiple texting conversations have derailed my well-intended prayer time.
Refocus. Now I am praying for my girls. Wait, did I update the grocery list earlier? Was that the dryer buzzer?
This type of scenario plays out over and over- friendships, home life, church, work, ministry, blog… My mind is like an over active puppy! Feels like chasing squirrels and herding cats as I try to wrangle my prayer focus.
I do have to give myself a little grace — most of my “distractions” are actually really good things. The intention and motive of my friendships and most of what is on my plate are pretty Godly. Yet, even “good” can be out of balance.
My pace, love for service, draw to social connections and ministry mindsets are pulling me away from the feet of my Father. This lack of prayer is keeping me from the real power!
Here’s what I’m learning; it’s not the people or the distractions – it’s me. I HAVE slowed down, I have learned to say no, I have laid down some expectations. But, there is still a buzz inside my mind even when it’s quiet and I am all alone.
It’s the buzz of planning effective execution, it’s the satisfaction of production… it’s the crave to keep my life appearing to hum like a well-oiled machine. But then my spirit is quickened & I wonder when did I forget that prayer was actually the oil to keep that machine running?
Actually, I never forgot! Neither have you. We know the importance of real prayer. It’s not that I am too busy or distracted. The problem can be streamlined to this excuse: I didn’t rank prayer as a high enough priority!
When it feels impossible to balance what we deem ours to carry, then we are carrying too much. The juggling of weekly commitments, the desire to read and grow, to know the Word, to engage in worship, the satisfaction of a clean home and meals around the table…. all of those plates spinning are all good things!
Yet I am disappointed to admit, prayer got pushed to the bottom of the private list. And I love prayer! (Now, it’s still priority on my public list. -ouch!) I pray with kids, for Jake, with friends, at church, life group! But public prayer can not replace personal private prayer.
I asked myself why prayer gets pushed back?… For me, it’s because prayer is the one of the few things that requires my singleness of mind and full attention. I can’t multitask prayer.
I can listen to worship or a podcast, while driving, cooking, getting ready or doing laundry … I can read the Word and journal to feel like I accomplished something. But, when I pray, my mind is quiet. I slow down. Through prayer, the words of my mouth begin to lead my mind, shape my actions and adjust my emotions.
There’s so much power in prayer!
It’s easier to fulfill our “Christian obligations” by doing all the other things. But right now, today, prayer is more important.
Martha-Mary- stop to pray!
When you’ve neglect prayer for too long— it’s time to correct alignment. Prayer is more important than acquiring more knowledge. Prayer is what will take knowledge and turn it into wisdom that takes action! Prayer is what exchanges the sermon for personal application. Prayer is what will change situations and shift prespectives. Prayer changes the “I shoulds” into the “I wills.”
We pile more knowledge, take more notes, and share more encouragement, but our heart aches for more.
My reminder- and now yours: Today, don’t forget to really pray!
We can start together:
I’m praying for you! I pray that your pace would slow and your mind would quiet. I pray your heart would feel and your soul would pray ….
Come along on the journey of a heart refined and guided by earnest prayer.
You are strong, but sometimes your strength is best demonstrated in weakness. Allow the Lord to minister to the quiet places of your heart.
We buzz and hum so loudly with work and production, accomplishment and progress…. You do it so well. You are a strong, beautiful, capable, productive, successful, independent woman!!
And yet, Lord, help our souls thirst for prayer. In the secret quiet places, Jesus we want more of You, restore our soul peace, align our hearts with your desires! Jesus help us to walk in Your freedom!
Prayer as a priority: it changes things!