I was eight seconds into my response to a friend’s question when I realized she was no longer listening to me. Her eyes were on everything but me, and then she walked away while I was still speaking.
As much as I tried not to let it bother me, I was a little hurt by her obvious disinterest. Listening friends are gold, aren’t they? And in a world if endless distractions, whether it’s our phones or an overactive brain, a good listener is hard to come by.
After this interaction, I thought about how in my prayer life, I’m often like my friend. My mind wanders. I forget what I was talking to God about in the first place. If it’s close to bedtime, I may even drift off to sleep.
I used to wonder whether God was annoyed these prayer habits, and then I realized something. While God wants me to come to him and seek him, it’s not for his benefit. It’s for my own. And any time I’m making an honest effort to carve time out of my day to communicate with him, it’s worth it.
Recently, someone asked me if there was a right way to pray. It was an honest question, and I was glad she thought enough of me to ask it. I used to flounder around in my own prayers, wondering if I was doing it the right way or if there was another something else I should be saying.
Talking to someone who is invisible can feel awkward, can’t it? Most of us can admit to that, even if it’s not out loud.
Then, I realized the desire to pray effectively wasn’t unique to me. If we look in the gospels, we see the disciples asking Jesus the same question. They could have asked him how to heal the sick or to perform a specific miracle, but instead they asked him about one specific discipline: prayer.
Most of us are familiar with what follows. Jesus provides a blueprint, saying one of the most famous prayers in scripture, the Lord’s Prayer. This prayer provides a beautiful illustration of this gift we all have, and how we can use it. He also shows that having a model to follow can be an effective tool for our wandering minds.
But have you ever been in a situation where you didn’t know what to pray, or how to start?
Maybe you’re running low on hope, and you’re out of words. Friend, I get it, and I’ve been there too.
In desperate seasons of my life, the only prayer I could muster was, “Jesus, help.” And you know what? He heard me. Saying the name of Jesus is powerful without eloquent sounding words or additives.
While God heard those prayers, he lead me to more. Prayer was an endless treasure, and he wanted me to enjoy it in all its fullness. And what I discovered is that scripture is full of truths I can apply directly to my prayers. As I do so, my prayers align my heart with his.
Instead of feeling constant anxiety, I feel peace. Instead of feeling insecurity, I feel secure in my identity as his child.
When discouragement hits, I pray biblical truths that fix my focus on his character and his love. My faithlessness turns to trust, even if I have to come back to the same truth again tomorrow.
Do you feel like you need some direction in your prayer life? Do you sometimes feel like you’re groping around in the dark, wondering if your prayers are making a difference? I get it. That is why I created a free resource for you: The Live Free Prayer Cards.
These prayer cards address five specific areas of our lives where we often need to remind ourselves of God’s truth and renew our minds: identity, perseverance, focus, future, and thanks.
If you preorder a copy of my new book, Shift: Changing Our Focus to See the Presence of God, these prayer cards will be sent to your inbox.
Just hop on over to my book page to enter your order information, and viola! You will receive them automatically.
There are also several other fun gifts for you to grab, and there are all free! You can find the other gifts right here. Friend, we are less than one week away from the release of Shift, and I can’t thank you enough for your support and encouragement on this journey. I pray this book blesses your socks off.