I let my prayer life become stagnant over the winter.
I prayed. I cried. I prayed some more. But there was no substance to it. No…what’s the word??
Prayer is our life-blood. Our heartbeat. Our connection to God. Our opportunity to praise Him. Confess our sins. Ask for forgiveness. Tell Him what’s on our hearts and minds. It’s how we ask His Spirit to fill us with His presence and power. The fullness of His grace.
I told myself I was. But I wasn’t. Not really. I was praying with my mouth only. Treating it as another thing to cross off my to-do list. I wasn’t praying with my heart. I wasn’t seeking to be near to God.
This needed to change! Like now.
Then when I read Colossians 4:2 and knew I needed to tattoo it on my heart. Sear it into my brain.
It was then that I knew 3 things were missing in my prayer life:
An alert mind
A thankful heart
I wasn’t giving myself over to God through prayer. I was mumbling words. True words. Words from my heart…but I wasn’t 100% committed nor was I giving myself over to Him completely.
I wasn’t giving Him all of me.
Now, I’m determined to give Him everything.
I’m asking, no inviting Him
- To invade the deepest reassesses of who I am and take those as well
- To give me the courage to see those places for what they are and hand them over
- To be willing to take all my fingers off everything I lay before Him and then walk away—without going back to pick up “my stuff”
I know I can trust Him. I know it! Down to my core, I know it.
I need to believe it AND live it.
2) An alert mind
This was my biggest failure. It embarrasses me to admit this. To write it. To read it over and over as I edit.
I was so easily distracted my prayer life was disjointed. Unfocused. Scattered.
I could be anything
- Notifications on my phone or FitBit
- The siren’s call of social media
- Emails to send or respond to
- Household chores
- Errant thoughts
- And this list goes on and on and on
Colossians 4:2 convicted me and helped me see my prayer life wasn’t active, it was passive.
I didn’t pray with expectancy. With alertness. I wasn’t watchful for either danger or blessings coming my way. My perception wasn’t what it needed to be. I wasn’t engaged and in the moment. Nor was I developing my relationship with my God.
I have prayed like this in the past. Watchful. Perceiving. Expectant. And those are the times I felt the most connected to God and His plan. It’s when His confidence in me became my confidence in me. I had an assurance about where I was going and what I was doing because I was closely following His lead.
But I got distracted.
Listened to other voices.
Followed their lead.
And lost my way.
Now, when I pray, my phone is on silent and in the other room. My computer is off and my Fitbit is on the charger. I’m determined to eliminate distractions.
When the temptation arises to take a quick peek, I rebuke it and ask God to cover me while I spend time with Him in prayer. To help me master my distractions. To tell Satan to shut it and go away.
I don’t know about you, but I needed this reminder:
Satan knows if he can keep us from prayer, he takes away our power. Our strength. He knows our perception to his lures dulls considerably and the longer we go without an active prayer life the worse our perception gets…and the more likely we are to become ensnared. If he cuts off our life-line to Jesus, he has much more freedom to wreak havoc in our lives. To extinguish our confidence. Enhance our insecurities. Desolate our calling and purpose. And decimate our lives.
3) Thankful heart
I had forgotten one valuable component in my prayer life.
I neglected to look back and remember how God has cared for me. Been faithful. Lifted me up. Encouraged me. Disciplined me. Refined me. Healed me. Blessed me. made me new.
I’d forgotten how thankfulness is even more critical when you’re in the throws of depression because of how it forces you to change your perspective. You’re compelled to look beyond your distress and misery and focus on the positive things in your life. Then God’s Light has the opportunity to flood your soul as you not only acknowledge your blessings but name them as well.
When you delight in those blessing—are conscious of the benefits you’ve received—your heart begins to soften.
Friend, there’s no better way to grow your faith than remembering how God has blessed you. Looking back and reliving what He’s done for you (and how He’s done it) out of His grace and love!
I suggest starting with your salvation.
- Remember who you were before Jesus entered your life
- How you thought
- Your attitude
- Your mindset
- Now think about how that’s changed
- The purpose and call He’s given you
- Your new identity
- ______________________ (you fill in the blank)
- Now think about where you would be had He not come into your life
I promise once you start it will be easier to remember the rest.
Let thankfulness will flow from you, inspiring your heart to be glad.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the here and now. To get distracted by the challenges, issues, and less-than-ideal circumstances that surround us. It takes discipline to stop. Look back. And remember. But it’s worth it.
So Dear One, this week I challenge you to memorize this Scripture with me. To tattoo it on your heart and sear it in your mind:
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