Due to the hassle with revision, late night sleepovers with my books and my dolls have been a constant occurrence; sleep, something I haven't had enough of! I usually end the day with a prayer, but lack of sleep and 'ending' the day at 2am isn't helpful when you're trying to connect with your Father in Heaven; I usually end up sleeping in the middle of my prayers, therefore, skipped praying a few times. Recently, through radio talks on 'Prayer' and books on 'Prayer', God made it very clear to me that, a lack of prayer, is a stumbling block for me on my spiritual journey...
Any good relationship fails with the lack of communication. When close friends stop talking, they soon lose touch with each other's lives, and soon their friendship becomes thin; when communication stops, so does the connection. Likewise, a book I'm currently reading, 'A Praying Life' by Paul Miller, shows how indifferent prayer is from talking to a friend. God can't wait to get involved into our lives, but He does give us a choice in life, we've got to ask Him to get involved. How will we ever know what the Lord has for us if we don't even take the time to talk? The primary and most important purpose of prayer is to help us renew our connection with God...so it is VITAL!
In our busy world, we never seem to have time for prayer, but it is so important. Jesus tells us, "...your Father knows what you need before you ask Him."(Matthew 6) therefore, even if it is not very long, a truly heartfelt prayer is perfect for God to help you renew your relationship with Him. I sometimes feel that prayer has to be well thought out and complicated, it can be but its not the only way to pray. With the 'Lord's prayer' as an example, we can see that 'Prayer', is like a simple on-the-spot conversation with God. When we can spend hours talking to our friends each day, we certainly ought to spend some personnel time with the Best Friend we could ever have...
In Elizabeth George's study 'A Young Woman's Call To Prayer' (that I'm still working on), she encourages us to set apart a time, make a schedule and get ourselves organised...set a special place, a special time, where we and our Savior can spend some quality time together. She also reminds us that getting organised would evoke a longing in our heart, that in turn drives us to do it!
Moreover, I find that many times, my prayers are very selfish, I feel guilty and ashamed at the end - I just end up making a list! That is certainly not how we should approach prayer, although we can 'ask' we also ought to 'thank', 'apologize' and 'praise & glorify' God - He deserves all of it! Praying can help us prepare for important times in our life or give us comfort at the 'deepest valley' situations in life, but like Charles Spurgeon wrote: 'Prayer does not fit us for the greater works; prayer is the greatest work.' - That is so true! Thus, we are to value prayer and make sure it is not just a list of wishes and things for God to do for us but a proper 'give and take' connection and conversation; it is not something we do when we need something but, 'Prayer' is what we need! Furthermore, it is God we need in our lives so, beyond all other requests, our prayers must be centered of asking Him to enter into our hearts and renew us.
Prayer does work miracles! Many forget the power that prayer has as it starts coming out of practice and not passion; when we pray for others and ourselves the Holy Spirit can do wonders through us; prayer has immense power. It can touch hearts, blow minds, show love and heal wounds....it can do a lot more! However, when we pray we ought to have faith and believe that the Lord will certainly answer but in His own time, in His own way and in accordance to His will. When prayers take long to be answered or don't get answered, it is very easy to stop believing and trusting, however, we should remember and trust that God knows what is best for us and He will certainly do it His way, but the best way!
There is still A LOT for me to learn about prayer and its vitality, my entire life time would not be enough. It is so important for us to renew our relationship with our Father and pray, so I urge you to try to do it regularly, it does make a noticeable difference in our lives - giving us peace and motivation as He is in control. We ought to remember to pray, not out of practice but, out of passion! Finally, let us also remember what Elizabeth George likes to say: 'There is no right or wrong way to pray...except not to pray'.