I am really bad at praying. Although it involves one of my favorite things, talking, I just continually fail to have a prayer life that doesn’t fall flat.
Talking with other Christians, I hear stories of people praying for hours. Deep into the night praying and crying and connecting with God. Although I have had incredible moments of prayer, typically this is not the norm for me.
Putting my nose in the Bible is not something I struggle with. I am constantly reading the Bible (mostly because I am behind on my Bible in a Year and it is almost October…so I am literally reading it all the time.) I am constantly worshipping through music and reading God’s word, but when it comes to prayer, I find it to be my biggest struggle.
I’m just going to say it: sometimes I get really bored. It isn’t always intense feelings and overwhelming emotion. A lot of times, I truly feel like I am talking and no one is listening. Sometimes I fall asleep. Sometimes I start to pray and end up daydreaming about a field trip in 7th grade to the beach when the weather didn’t cooperate and we had to bundle up in sweatshirts.
I shoot up dozens of prayers a day as I think about things, just like I send my husband dozens (okay hundreds) of quick texts daily. But those little “shooters” aren’t the basis of a solid relationship. If my husband and I relied on our quick messages to each other as our sole communication, we would be missing out on deep, meaningful, rich conversations.
(One could argue that “Do we need anything at the store?”, a concerning amount of memes, and every last detail about the food I ate that day are parts of a meaningful conversations, but you get my point.)
My relationship with Jesus cannot grow the way it should if I am not devoting real, uninterrupted time talking with Him. Quick prayers are fabulous to stay connected through the day, but they are not enough to make a relationship thrive.
My prayers are still meaningful when I pray them as I grocery shop and multi task. He still loves to hear from me when I am driving my car and going for a run. But there is something about setting aside time specifically and purposefully for somebody that shows where your priorities are.
This has been a struggle for a long time for me. I have tried journaling, praying in various formulas to keep me on track, typing my prayers, praying out loud- but nothing has turned into a habit. For a few days, I will get into a routine, but then fall back into my “bedtime prayers” aka falling asleep after my first two sentences.
So lately, I am trying my hardest to devote 10 minutes of my day to prayer.
10 minutes is not a lot, especially considering the amount of time I waste scrolling through Instagram, opening and closing the fridge and coming up with reasons not to exercise.
10 minutes is not a lot of time, but it is a start.
I literally have beens setting my timer on my phone (super unromantic), flipping my phone over so I can’t see the screen, and praying.
10 straight minutes. No interruptions. No text messages. Just talking with God.
I grow through the same routine, first praising, then confessing, then thanking, then asking. My brain needs some sort of structure or I’ll reminisce about the time I bit into a donut with a bee on it at the apple orchard. The bee stung the roof of my mouth. Traumatic.
I can’t call this a habit yet. I have tried to get in this time daily lately, but I can’t say I have done that successfully. It is embarrassing to me to claim I love Jesus more than anything, yet struggle to give Him 10 uninterrupted minutes of my day, so I am doing something about it.
I give 10 minutes to a lot of things in my day before prayer. I am hoping that this will be small step in the right direction as I try to ignite my prayer life. The Bible is clear that when we draw near to God, He will draw near to us.
If you already have specific time set aside for prayer, I would love to hear what that space looks like for you. Do you have a prayer spot? A routine? And if you don’t have a time you give for prayer, what would it look like if you started to?
Well, it’s time to set my alarm. I hope that soon, 10 minutes will turn to 15 and 15 to 20, and soon I will have stamina and the heart of a true warrior of prayer. I think this is one request God will answer happily.