Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Lord, Teach Me to Pray


Luke 11:1
One day Jesus was praying in a certain place.  When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples."

I pray because I can't help myself.  I pray because I'm helpless.  I pray because the need flows out of me all the time - waking and sleeping.  It doesn't change God - it changes me. ~C. S. Lewis

Do you pray?

If you are a practicing Christian, I can see you scratching your head and wondering why I even pose this query.  What a silly question, Martha.  Of course, I do!

As I traverse my Lenten journey, I find myself reflecting upon the state of my own prayer life.  Frankly, I'm disappointed in myself.  And I can't help but think God is disappointed in me, too.

I pray, yes.  But do I converse, really converse with my Abba?  Place a big, fat check mark in the Needs Improvement box.

Am I praying about and for the needs of others?  Thumbs-up!  However, I could certainly do this with more consistency and regularity, having learned from past experience the amazing power of intercessory prayer.

Do I thank God often enough?  Praise Him enough for all He has done?

Am I praying before and after I read His Word each day in Bible study?

Am I fully present to the words of others prayed aloud at church or at home?

Am I sitting still with Him, content simply to be before Him, knowing He is God?

And it seems that during Lent, the season of reflection for our souls, that scrutinizing my prayer life is something God is willing me to do.

Calling me to do.

I'm obeying; I want my life of prayer to be my life with every breath I take.  I want to do it because, as C. S. Lewis discovered, I can't help myself . . . I'm helpless without the Lord . . .

I desire for my prayers to be a never-ending flow in the currents of the Living Waters.

I long to pray without ceasing.

Lord, teach me to pray.

And change me . . .

~

Have you ever felt the need to re-evaluate your prayer life?

Prayer:  Father, help us to focus daily on praying to You from the moment we wake until the moment we fall asleep.  Take our eyes off ourselves and lift them, instead, to You, the One who loves us perfectly and immeasurably, and is always waiting patiently to hear from us, Your children.  In Jesus' name, we pray.  Amen.

21 comments:

  1. This is thought-provoking and timely. Thank you very much, respected madam.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad this resonated with you, Portia. Thank your for your kind words, my dear.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  2. Martha, I relate to your words all too well. Even though, I well realize the need to LISTEN, I find myself NOT listening. In some way, I'm forever longing for more, to grow in my relationship with the Lord--to go higher and deeper. It's the deep longing that keeps me going day after day after day!

    Love and blessings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen, Kim! I can certainly relate to that deep longing, but so many times I don't listen to God as I should. I am so thankful that our Father is patient with us.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  3. Yes, Martha, I have often been disappointed in my prayer life. What has really helped me think about it is this: I picture my relationship with my sons. How hard it would be if they rarely talked to me. And it wouldn't be great if they only talked to me when they needed or wanted something from me. And honestly, if they were always serious, or upset, or complaining, or any other negative feeling, that would grow old, too!

    This really makes me stop and think about how I talk to God. And then I make an effort to communicate with Him in the ways that I want my children to talk to me - frequently, in appreciation, just for fun, in need or want, honestly and affectionately.

    And yes, there is plenty of room for lengthy and deep conversations, too.

    GOD BLESS!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Sharon, I love, love, love your analogy here! If we picture how we want our own children to talk with us, then realize we are God's children, how much easier that makes it to converse with Him in love and sincerity. Thanks so much for sharing your marvelous insights here!
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  4. Gotta go with you on this Martha. i was thinking this morning (also) how perfunctory my prayer life has been lately with seemingly little life. That needs remedied.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's so easy to fall into a comfortable rut, isn't it, Bill? Glad this post had you thinking about revving your prayer engine, too.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  5. Martha, you are so right with these words. So many of us 'think' we are praying when in fact we don't. I too have found myself stewing about something for days then realize I never lifted it up in prayer. DUH! Prayer is so essential and one we can always grow into.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad to know I'm not alone in this, Jean. Years ago when my children were in choir, we put on a musical entitled "Fat, Fat Jehosaphat"; in there was a song called "First, You Pray." I can still recall the words of it to this day, but did I take it to heart? Hmm. But that is exactly what we should do the moment we see a problem come our way.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  6. Hi Martha! I know what you mean. I think most of my prayer is reflexive, and not with all my heart. I think about something, or am faced with a problem and I pray small prayers and let it sit.
    I need to be more intentional, and pray with all my heart! I need this post today to help me move forward on my Lenten journey too. Thank you so much for your wisdom.
    Blessings,
    Ceil

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Ceil, and as I said to Jean above, I'm so glad I'm not alone in this struggle to improve my prayer life. We do need to be more intentional and pray from our hearts.
      Love and blessings1

      Delete
  7. Appreciate the dose of inspiration of prayer, Martha. One of my small habits for the new year is prayer which I try to do on a daily basis but the quality of the prayer is a different story. And also, I don't just have to pray during prayer time but can pray so incessantly throughout the day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so right, Vishnu; prayer does not have to happen at any specific time, but should occur all throughout our day. We're all works in progress. Thank goodness God is patient!
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  8. It seems the older I get the deeper the longing to connect with our wonderful God. Somehow I thought there would come a time when I would have plenty of time to love on Him. I sometimes am on the run asking Him to run with me and He does. Great reminders, thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know I'm in the same boat with you, Betty, because the older I get, the more I long to run in tandem with Him. Don't forget - He has put us on the move for Him, running or walking. As long as we request His presence in it all, it will be well.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  9. I recently did Martha as I realised that in the chaos of life something that I had so easily taken for granted was my prayers.

    So I have started a new routine and have been successfully been able to stick to it since Jan 201. Touchwood.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is wonderful, Privy! We all need to stop and take stock of our spiritual practices from time to time.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  10. Yes! This is where I am right now. It's why I started trying to pray the scriptures. I felt (feel) like my prayer life needed a little boost, a lift, some renewal. So I decided to change it up a bit. I've been posting them on my blog to help keep me somewhat accountable though I missed today... I plan to be back at it tomorrow!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good for you, Sherri! Praying the scriptures is an awesome idea. I'll have to try it!
      Love and blessings!

      Delete

Was I Dreaming of a White Christmas?

1 Thessalonians 5:1-3 There is no need to write you, friends, about the times and occasions when these things will happen.  For you your...