Monday, 21 May 2012

5 Disciplines for developing a passion for prayer

We’ve been starting to look at prayer – through our look at Elizabeth George’s book ‘Life Management for Busy Women’. The five ‘disciplines’ that she gives us are:

·        MAKE A COMMITMENT – a good thing to do is actually write out a commitment to God – stating your desire to be more faithful in prayer and developing a passion for praying. If you fancy sharing yours then please do in the comments below!

·        REALISE THAT PRAYER IS NOT OPTIONAL – prayer is a command. Ephesians 6:18 says ‘Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.

·        REFUSE TO MISS A DAY - like the discipline we used when developing a passion for God’s Word, we need to make sure we commit to spending time in prayer and talking to God each and every day.

·         STUDY THE PRAYERS OF THE BIBLE – it really is amazing to look at the prayers throughout the Bible and to think about how, why, what and the results of the prayers. We can look at Ephesians 1:15-19, Ephesians 3:14-21 and Colossians 1:9-14 to start this.

·         STUDY THE PRAYERS OF THE SAINTS THROUGH THE AGES – an excellent example of someone to study would be Susanna Wesley. I also love to talk to older members of our congregation and hear how they pray, and the amazing ways God has answered their prayers over the years.

I love to hear people’s passion when they pray. It can move me to tears, to action and to praying myself. Prayer is such an interesting topic for me as it’s something I have always struggled with. I love to study the Bible, but sometimes I can do it as an academic exercise rather than a spiritual experience. Prayer, on the other hand, is a conversation with the King of Kings, and so I often end up bouncing from being extremely in awe to ranting about something that is wrong in my life, all in one prayer. I don’t want to ‘waste God’s time’  with my ramblings, but I also understand that God really is interested in everything I do, everything I am and everything that is happening to me – no matter how mundane I think it is. Getting the balance often is too much for me and I end up not spending anywhere near as much time praying as I should. I’m also not good at just being in God’s presence – not talking, not thinking about what’s for tea tonight, not distracted, just focusing on Him – so this is something I really want to commit to practising.
This week I want to look at how to pray, how important it is to pray with people as well as on your own, and how praying for others can make a huge difference in both your lives. I am so excited to be taking the time for this – I want to have a true passion for prayer and for God’s Word and really make this a focus for the rest of my life. And if you’re doing this journey along with me then I hope you get as much out of it as I am.

Until next time - remember to

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