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Pursuit (part 3): Prayer

April 28, 2009

One verse about Jesus’ prayer rocks my foundation every time I read it.  I am tearing up as I read it again right now.  Luke 6:12…

“In these days Jesus went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God.”

Reading that prayer was so sweet, deep, and intimate to Jesus that he devoted an entire night to time with his Dad in prayer makes me absolutely long to pray like Him.  To be completely honest with you, I have seasons where prayer for 30 minutes feels like oxygen after being underwater and other seasons where I sweat out every bit of my 5 minutes in prayer.  Just to make sure everyone knows, I still feel relatively “young” in prayer as a Christian but here are some suggestions…

  1. Catch a vision for what a life of true prayer can look like from Scripture and the lives of other Christians.  I just finished reading “Power Through Prayer” by EM Bounds.  The most powerful part of the whole book was the prologue in which one of his friends described him waking up at 4:00am every day to “weep and carry his heart to God in prayer.”  It helps me to be reminded that it is worth it to devote myself to growing in prayer for the rest of my life.
  2. Prepare your heart.  Prayer each morning comes after journaling and reading a short devotional.  If I go straight from checking ESPN.com to starting a session of prayer, my mind will be on other things.
  3. Pray what is on your heart.  Don’t think about “saying the right things” or how you sound or trying to remember what you said last time you had a great morning of prayer.  Look at David in the Psalms – the guy was a spiritual schizophrenic… but he truly poured out his heart to God daily and God described David as “a man after my own heart”.
  4. Pray out loud.  In my experience I cannot focus on prayer for longer than a few sentences without whispering or softly speaking to God.
  5. Pray scripture.  If I’m “getting stuck” or can’t seem to focus, I open to a Psalm and use it as a prayer guide.  If the Psalm starts “Hear, O Lord, and answer me for I am poor and needy” then I’ll spend one or two minutes confessing to God how poor and needy I am spiritually because of my sin and physically because of my weakness.  Then I’ll move onto the next few verses and do the same.

Those are my suggestions but “wisdom is found in many counselors”.  What are your suggestions for what’s worked to help you in prayer?

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This is the 3rd part in a series of posts about spending personal time with God.  View the others here…

Part 1 – Ritual

Part 2 – Journaling

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 29, 2009 9:38 am

    I struggle desperately with personal and private prayer time. My prayer life always is sparked after I am able to pray with believers I know and love. For instance, First Thursday prayer experiences always help me when I can come.

Trackbacks

  1. Pursuit (part 4): Scripture Intake « .. josh’s blog ..
  2. Pursuit (part 5): Scripture meditation « .. josh’s blog ..
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