confession of a pastor: I don’t pray enough…
Here’s the honest truth. I can’t think of a single week of my life where I ended the week happy with the amount I prayed.
Here’s another confession. I gave up.
I gave up trying to feel good about my payer life. In fact, I’ve decided I never will and I’m OK with it. Chances are that if I ever feel content about the amount I pray, it will be because I stopped longing for God, not because I finally met some mystical quota. This week, taking in chapters of A.W. Tozer’s The Pursuit of God before falling asleep, I ran across this portion of a prayer:
“O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more…I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still…Say to my soul, ‘Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.’ Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
If you want to join me in feeling miserable about your prayer life, see my tips below…just some things I do that may or may not work for you.
BTW – This Sunday I’m starting an online class on leadership principles. Look for posts on leadership throughout the month of July. And feel free to join in for video lectures and discussion here: http://capcitychurch.onthecity.org/plaza/leadership.
Below are my tips, but how do you pray? What are you curious about with prayer? How do you feel about your prayer life?
Tips for a miserable prayer life:
I become thankful. Nothing alters my perspective like thinking of what God has done and is doing in my life and thanking Him for it. I reflect on how awesome He is. I read Psalms out loud and let myself get excited about Him and what He is capable of.
I use my prayer language. My prayer language allows me to agree with God for things I may not even be aware of that He’s doing. The Bible says that the Spirit of God searches out the mind of God and then prays through me with utterings I don’t understand (Romans 8:26). I’m cool with that. If it’s just me and God, there isn’t always a need for my mind to be edified.
I declare truth. Inevitably, things come to my mind as I pray: people, concerns, events, future conversations…I use my words to turn those things over to God. I recite/declare Scripture over those things and agree with what God says about it…sometimes making bold declarations about what God is going to do.
I shut up. I spend probably 60% of prayer time not talking. I ask God to speak to me, to show me things, to challenge me. If I can be quiet for a minute, I find He always brings things to my mind that are on His heart. I ask Him broad general questions and wait for an impression of His response. “What are you after in me right now?” “Why am I so anxious about this?” Honestly, I don’t always know with 100% certainty that what’s coming to me is always God. I have to compare it with what I see written in His Word and what I’ve been taught about the character of God. As long as it lines up, it doesn’t hurt me to respond to it. Many times, it turns out it was God speaking to me during my prayer time. How awesome is that?!