How to Revive a Dying Prayer Life
“Teach us to pray.” That’s what the disciples asked Christ. Not “teach us HOW to pray.” We don’t need more techniques in praying, we need more motivation to actually pray! The determination to pray usually lasts about as long as a gym membership. I have found some powerful motivators to pray that I believe will change your life.
My prayer life drifted when I did not have a “track” to run on. Jesus had to wake up His disciples three times in Gethsemane with these words: “The spirit IS WILLING but the flesh was weak.”
If the “spirit” IS willing, how do we engage our mind and our body in prayer?
1. You are too still.
- Laid back in a recliner is not the place to pray. Your body is too still. Of course, there is a place for stillness toward the end. But if the weather is right, I like to get up early and go outside. The fresh air and the stars pull me upward spiritually toward “heavenly places.”
- Engage your body in the prayer time. Walk, kneel, even DANCE if you need to wake up! No wonder David said to “clap your hands” and “lift your hands”: move around when you are getting started.
- Moses raised his hands with two men propping them up as Israel fought Amalek. The Jewish rabbis taught that when you raised your hands in prayer you were actually touching the throne of God.
2. Your mind is drifting.
- Have you ever imagined during prayer that the President may be trying to call you to address Congress!? Our minds are amazingly active in the natural world, especially about our day’s activities.
- Don’t look at any media before you pray. E-mails, texts, and even news have a way of diverting your mind from heavenly things. Get out of bed and head straight to your prayer “spot.” Jesus went out into the wilderness early for obvious reasons.
3. You are not starting with Scripture.
- I have three main passages of Scripture that I start off my prayer time:
- Psalms 118: The “center chapter” of the Bible. Jesus probably quoted it during the Last Supper. It has been used to get me out of a lot of “distress” so I quote most of it every day.
- 2 Cor. 13:14: I meditate on the “love of God the Father,” the “grace of Jesus Christ,” and the “fellowship of the Holy Spirit.” Each person of the Trinity is important to me and I think of how wonderful each Person is in my life.
- Matthew 6: 9-13: I quote the Lord’s Prayer really SLOW. The rabbis taught topically, and I make each phrase roll in my mind until it drops down into my heart.
That’s enough right there to get you started! Find your PLACE of prayer. Set your TIME of prayer. Activate your body, mind, and spirit in prayer. You’ll move from discipline…to desire…to DELIGHT.
And you’ll never look back.