As a father of six children (so far) that is a familiar sound for me. It is especially joyous to hear the excited shouts each time I come home. No matter how difficult the day may have been it lifts my heart to know that my children are happy that I am home. They are excited to see my face. They want to spend some time with me.
It is also a humbling experience. It strikes me that this joy may not last forever. My children are still young. The likelihood that they will express such exuberant joy at my returning home into their teenage and young adult years is doubtful.
Another reason this is humbling is because I see the excitement that my children have to see me, their earthly father, but I know that God’s children are not always this excited to spend time with their heavenly Father. I don’t need to look any further than in the mirror to know this is true.
Why should it be that we lose the excitement of knowing that God has reconciled us to Himself through Christ? Why should we lose the awe in knowing that our heavenly Father loves us and paid a tremendous price so that we could have the privilege of boldly entering into His presence and spending time with Him in prayer? How can this ever get old?
As I’ve been in ministry these past seven years I’ve learned two things again and again:
- Prayer is important and necessary.
- Prayer is easy to drift from.
Maybe you can’t relate. Perhaps you exemplify the scriptural command to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess 5:17).
I wish I did. But I don’t.
Studying the Scriptures comes easily to me. It’s how I’m wired. Most people who know me know that some of my best relationships are with books!
However, I know I should never settle for simply knowing about God when He has so graciously invited me to know Him. Don’t get me wrong – reading the Bible is a wonderful blessing. It is a blessing that directs us to the Living God Himself. Knowing the Scriptures should enrich our prayer lives. But it can’t replace it.
Fortunately, the Lord consistently draws me back to Himself. Recently, I have been enjoying a renewed sense of urgency and joy in spending time with our Father in prayer.
If not, there is no better time than today to get started. It has been said well and often that the best way to learn how to pray is by praying. There are many methods and models of prayer. Let me suggest that the best way to pray is in line with who you are. Pray in a way that comes relatively naturally to you.
If you hate to write, then journaling is probably not for you even if this is a great method for others. Attempting to pray in ways that are completely contrary to the way you are built is a good recipe for disappointment. It’s a surefire way to ensure that your season of devoted prayer will be short-lived.
All of my children want to spend time with me. They don’t all want to spend it with me in the same ways. If you are a Christian then your heavenly Father made it possible for you to enjoy Him both in this life and the life to come. For me, spending quiet time alone and praying while walking provide great times of fellowship with me and our Father.
There are many biblical examples of how others have prayed. The most important thing to realize is not how they prayed but that they prayed.
Let that lift your spirit and encourage you to take full advantage of your opportunity today. Then, again tomorrow. Learn to pray by praying. If you already are a prayer warrior, then consider encouraging others you know by sharing how the Lord has worked in your life to bring you where you are today.
Feel free to share encouragements and thoughts on prayer in the comments. Be blessed as you walk with the living God today!