I recently started a new study on prayer using Kay Arthur’s book Lord, Teach Me to Pray in 28 days. For some it may seem strange that a person who has been a Christian for a long time now is studying how to pray at this stage of life. Prayer has always been a part of my walk with Christ. I could fill books with answered prayers (mind you…not always the way I would have wanted them answered). But recently, I’ve felt a staleness in my prayer life.
As an old saying goes, if I’m not feeling close to God, I have to remember that I’m the one who moved. The Bible tells us in James 5:8a, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” The rest of that verse reminds us how to draw near…come closer. The entire verse says, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
So along with my daily Bible study (currently going through and Inductive Study of Mark), I added this study on PRAYER. So far, I’ve been reminded of two main points. First, faith is a relationship. Second, prayer keeps us connected.
On week 1, day 1 of the study Arthur says, “Serving God, valuable as that might be, is no substitute for knowing Him and communicating with Him.” Just as knowing and communicating with your husband (or wife) strengthens your marriage, communicating with God so that you can KNOW Him better strengthens our relationship with Him. To know God we need two things in our life: regular Bible study (God’s Words) and regular prayer (communication with God). They go hand in hand.
How do we stay connected with the people in our lives? Conversation. Communication. The same is true for staying connected with our Lord. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us, “Pray without ceasing.” Keep praying. I see this as having an ongoing conversation with my God. It is not about staying on your knees and praying there all day long. Although there may be instances where that’s what we need to do. For me, it is about acknowledging God, speaking with God, and listening for God throughout my day.
Beyond that never-ceasing conversation, I also find I need a dedicated time for prayer and study. That will look different for different people. I find I can focus best in the morning on most days. It was after I stopped writing out my prayers that I began to feel a disconnect. So for me, writing out my prayers in a journal works best. I love that I can then go back and mark answered prayers. It’s a great reminder of God’s faithfulness.
I’ll come back to this topic of PRAYER as I study more. If you are looking for a new study, this one is great so far! For now, I’ll pray for you…you pray for me…that we would KNOW GOD BETTER!