We all know we should pray. Most of us really do want to pray. Then why do we have such a difficult time developing a prayer life. We spend more time enlisting other people to pray for us than we spend personally in prayer each day. I’m thankful that I have multiple people in my life praying for me each day but there isn’t any prayer more powerful than personal prayer.
Now we have all sorts of reasons(excuses) why we don’t pray but it really boils down to the cold hard fact that we aren’t disciplined in this area of our lives. You are disciplined in other areas, you make sure and get up in time to make it to work, you cook dinner for the family, you finish everything so you can watch your favorite show. The reason why disciplines in these areas are easier to develop and maintain is that if you don’t show up for work on time the penalty is swift and severe.
Researchers say that if a punishment or reward is not swiftly felt after an action then there is not a link made by that person cognitively. When you begin to fail to be disciplined in your spiritual life the punishment or consequence is not immediate. God is not going to strike you blind because you didn’t spend time with Him in prayer. But the effects will be felt, they build over time until you don’t recognize your spiritual condition any longer.
Here’s the three disciplines that will transform your prayer life. The first is that you schedule a time to pray. You set your alarm each morning, you have a specific time that you have lunch, you need to have a specific time to pray. It doesn’t have to be the exact time every day but it needs to be a deliberate thing that you set each day. I worked retail for many years and my prayer time was during my breaks. I’d take my sandwich, and my Bible and get alone with God. Those were defining moments in my walk with God. Many of us drive 45 minutes to work, take 15 minutes of that time and pray.
The second discipline is have a set place. Make a space in your home that you can escape to and pray. I have a chair in my office that I sit in and pray regularly. In this space make sure and have your Bible, your Prayer Journal, a pen, but leave your phone elsewhere. Your prayer space can be anywhere but make sure that it’s a place where you can get alone with God.
The last discipline that we all need is a set plan. I know that prayer is having a talk with God and it’s not a monologue but it’s always good to have a plan. There are many great prayer guides that you can find. These guides will help you find your flow in prayer. One of my favorites guides in prayer is the one that Jesus told his disciples about, The Lord’s Prayer.
The discipline of prayer is like many healthy habits that are hard to form but easy to break. Once you establish a routine in prayer of time, place and plan then you will feel yourself longing for that time with God. You will find yourself in the Spirit more and more even if you are doing other things because you’ve established a connection with God that is beyond time, place or plan.
Prayer is the life of a Christian. The rewards of a prayer life are immediate, delayed and eternal. Don’t delay this incredible opportunity that you have today to strengthen your prayer life. Set a time, set a place, and get a plan.