By Lyn Churchyard.
The Lord Jesus made much of prayer. Not only in His own life, but also in the lives of His disciples. He told them when they prayed, they should pray away from the prying eyes of others. (Matthew 6:6). He would rise early and go up into the mountains or out into the desert to pray.
'In the early morning when it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded space, and was praying there.' (Mark1:35)
'But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.' (Luke 5:16)
He was in constant communion with His Father. It was the source of His strength.
You may not be able to get away to a mountaintop, or go out into the wilderness, but do whatever works best for you.
A chair under a tree in your backyard
A walk around the local park
Sitting on the back step.
Even in the shower, if that’s the only private place you can find.
But it isn’t always easy to create a sacred place—especially if you live with other people and it’s not your house or you have a young family.
Prayer is mentioned over 250 times in Scripture. So obviously it’s important, but why? First, daily prayer gives us the opportunity to share everything about our lives with God. It gives us the chance to express our gratitude for everything He does for us. It provides a way for us to confess our sin and ask for forgiveness and help to overcoming that sin. It is an act of worship and of obedience. And by praying daily, we realise who is really in control of our lives.
Do you find it difficult to actually pray? Does your mind wander so that you end up thinking about the day ahead and then come back to prayer feeling ashamed that you can’t even pray for a couple of minutes without getting distracted?
I do, but we don’t need to feel discouraged because God understands our frailty. Sometimes, it’s helpful to keep a prayer journal—even just a notebook and actually write your prayers. Writing will help keep your mind focused on the task.
Seek a sacred space amongst the mundane things of life; it will give you strength when you are weak, courage when you are scared and joy when you are sad.'
5 minutes: READ the text slowly.
REFLECT on a phrase or word that struck you.
SPEAK to God about your thoughts.
5 minutes: LISTEN to God speak to you.
RESPOND with a prayer that feels right for you.