By Kyle Patterson
“You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life”. - John Ortberg
In the midst of life’s hustle and bustle it can be a challenge to slow down and actually engage in extended periods of prayer, or prayer at all for that matter other than the occasional, “help me God.” Yet the Bible is full of God’s promises in response to the prayers of his people. I believe the lack of prayer in the Church of America is the primary reason behind the church’s lack of influence, spiritual power and holiness. Yet, feeling guilty is no long term motivator to pray. Like any relationship, our relationship with the Father needs to be cultivated and grown, and that can take time.
Jeremiah 29:13 New International Version (NIV) 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
So here are a few ways to keep your prayer life going strong:
1) Put it on your schedule. Sounds simple enough but writing it down or typing it into your calendar makes a difference. Set a notification system to remind you and do it.
2) Start with small increments. You don’t have to begin praying 2 hours straight. Rather start with 10 minutes.
3) Combine prayer and worship together. Don’t think of prayer as a laundry list of needs. Rather think of it as time spent with Christ. Slow down and listen, sing, praise, receive, tune into and invite the Presence of the Holy Spirit to be with you.
4) Journal. Record some of your prayers and what impressions God puts on your heart. As you start writing you’ll be surprised how a flow of spontaneous thoughts and inspiration comes to you. (This is one of the ways God speaks by his Spirit.)
5) Be still and listen. ‘Nough said.
6) Surrender all. Stop holding back, offer your body, soul and spirit to Christ as a living sacrifice. Ask him to use you as his servant. You are the living sacrifice that God consumes with his fire.
Kyle Patterson is the publisher and editor of Thrive and Unite magazines, founder of Prayer Collective, Inc. and currently works full time as Director-Development of Buffalo City Mission.