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Reason #7 To Journal: Build Your PRAYER Life

28 October 2009 8 Comments

Prayer is the most powerful tool God has given to us!

but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” (Acts 6:4)

How’s your prayer life? Are you too busy not to pray?

If prayer truly is the most powerful tool God has given us, then why do most people pray so little. I think it comes down to habits and a fast pace of life. Most people are too busy too pray. Others have never learned how to pray.

Prayer is a habit like journaling. If you journal regularly and include prayer as a routine part of that, you will pray and get better at it. I guarantee it. When you learn to apply the 4 keys to hearing God’s voice discussed later, your prayer time will become much richer.

That’s because you will be having intimate conversations, rather than monologues, with the Creator of the universe. You will come to know what it really means to abide in Him.

A few years ago I heard a frightening statistic that pastors in America spend an average of only three minutes each day praying. Yet, leaders must lead by example. Teaching about prayer is not the same as praying. Prayer doesn’t happen on the run.

I’ve seen first hand how difficult it is to get pastors from different congregations to pray together on a regular basis. Most pastors are too busy doing the ministry themselves instead of equipping the saints to do it.

During the 40 days of Lent in 2006, Pastor Randy Orndorff invited his congregation at the Culpeper United Methodist Church to participate in a seven week small group study titled “Too Busy Not To Pray.” I think about 100 people chose to participate. Virginia Morton, one of our Pray Culpeper team leaders, was one of them. The resulting spiritual growth and big answers to prayers have been very encouraging.

My connection to Virginia Morton and Pastor Randy led me to order the book and audio CD’s by Bill Hybels titled “Too Busy Not To Pray” in September 2006. I found Pastor Hybels’ teaching about prayer in his book to be fantastic.

As a result of reading and listening to Bill Hybels’ book, I wrote a series of daily devotional messages in a series titled “Too Busy Not To Pray” during October 2-18, 2006. In my message on October 3, I shared the following excerpts from Bill’s book:

Prayer is an unnatural activity. It is an assault on human autonomy – an indictment of independent living. To people in the fast lane determined to make it on their own, prayer is an embarrassing interruption. Prayer is alien to our proud human nature. And yet somewhere, some place probably all of us reach the point where we fall on our knees, fix our attention on God, and pray.

Why are we drawn to prayer? 1) We pray because we understand that the most intimate communion with God comes only through prayer. 2) Prayer also helps us feel surrounded by God’s presence. As we grow in prayer, God reveals more of Himself, breathing more of His life into our spirits. Through prayer, God gives His peace that passes all understanding.

People are drawn to prayer because they know that God’s power flows primarily to people who pray. God’s power can change circumstances and relationships. It can help us face life’s daily struggles. It can heal psychological and physical problems, remove marriage obstructions, meet financial needs. In fact it can handle any kind of difficulty, dilemma, or discouragement.

The greatest fulfillment (thrill) in praying is the qualitative difference in your relationship with God. Through prayer, you can carry on substantial soul-searching conversations with God every day.”

On the morning of February 5, 2008 while “doing the dew,” the Holy Spirit led me to
listen again to the audiobook “Too Busy Not To Pray.” While doing that, I posted former
devotionals related to this topic into my blog for Your Daily Blessing. Here are some of
my favorite life lessons from those:

  1. When man works, man works, but when man prays, God works!
  2. Prayer is the key to unlocking God’s prevailing power in your life!
  3. Our God is a giving God, a blessing God, a loving God!
  4. God is capable of handling any problem we can bring Him. He is waiting for us to
    recognize His power and to ask Him.
  5. God invites us to come into His presence!
  6. The point of prayer is not to get what you want, but rather to receive what you need!
  7. Without a carefully structured plan, we’re all likely to become imbalanced.
  8. Faith comes from looking at God, not the mountain!
  9. When the request is right, the timing is right, and you are right, God says “Go!”
  10. The most common cause of unanswered prayer is prayerlessness.
  11. For you to pray at all times is the will of God, not just a good idea!
  12. The value of a contemplative life is character transformation.
  13. Listening to God is like listening to anyone – before you can hear Him, you must be
    ready to listen!
  14. Strength comes from solitude.
  15. The Holy Spirt never contradicts the Word of God!
  16. Prayer is a way to maintain constant communion with God.

Blessings to journal to build a strong prayer life!

Joseph PeckJoseph

Joseph Peck, M.D.
The Time Doctor
Empowering Dreams
Author, I Was Busy, Now I’m Not
www.empower2000.com

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8 Comments »

  • Ceidre said:

    So true about Prayer being so powerful! We, myself and a friend of mine decided to pray together every morning Monday to Friday. We started this a couple of weeks ago and I have really found it strengthening and uplifting. Its like iron sharpening iron.

    In “Steps to Christ” it says “Prayer is the opening of the heart to God as to a friend. Not that it is necessary in order to make known to God what we are, but in order to enable us to receive Him. Prayer does not bring God down to us, but brings us up to Him”

    You mention about Ministers of God praying so little in the same book it says:

    “Our heavenly Father waits to bestow upon us the fullness of His blessing. It is our privilege to drink largely at the fountain of boundless love. What a wonder it is that we pray so little! God is ready and willing to hear the sincere prayer of the humblest of His children, and yet there is much manifest reluctance on our part to make known our wants to God.

    What can the angels of heaven think of poor helpless human beings, who are subject to temptation, when God’s heart of infinite love yearns toward, them, ready to give them more than they can ask or think, and yet they pray so little and have so little faith. The angels love to bow before God; they love to be near Him. They regard communion with God as their highest joy; and yet the children of earth, who need so much the help that God only can give, seem satisfied to walk without the light of His Spirit, the companionship of His presence.”

  • Nancy Slocum said:

    Randy – What a beautiful and life empowering post! Thank You. I feel so blessed to be surrounded by such people as yourself, others in our Web 2.0 Tribe, and the body at large, that truly love and commune with God and then share the blessings. We are indeed a people that are blessed to be a blessing! That’s why we need each other so much. God sure knows what He is doing when He builds a family.

    Don’t stop the blessing river,
    Nancy

  • Dr. Joseph Peck (author) said:

    Hi Ceidre, Thank you for your insightful comments about prayer. I can see you are very well read. Thank you for sharing how you recently startied a morning prayer time with a friend five days a week. That’s an inspiration to me. Perhaps I will do something similar soon. May the LORD bless you to start your own blog soon to inspire and encourage your followers! Joseph

  • Dr. Joseph Peck (author) said:

    Hi Abigail, Thank you for your encouraging blog comment. It’s such an inspiration to me watching you grow and be unleashed to share as you learn and master Web 2.0. Many blessings to be an overcomer and help many do likewise! Joseph

  • Dr. Joseph Peck (author) said:

    Hi Aaron, Thank you for sharing your insightful comments about prayer. I agree with you and hope you will comment on more blog posts in the future. Many blessings, Joseph

  • Aaron Sekiwa said:

    Thank you for your article. I have also realised that prayer is far from those that think salvation is a result of their good works. Dependence on Jesus results in us needing more of Him. Eternal gratitude for his grace shown by his death and his mercy brings us even closer to him through prayer. Being religious chokes prayer out of our lives as we realise there are no results from obligatory prayers.

  • Carol said:

    I like this it encourages me to spend more time, praying To God and focusing on him,rather than my problems. I thank all of you great people for spending your time energy,sharing your views about God. Father, I praise you for all that you are doing in our life in this hour. I love you Daddy!

  • Dr. Joseph Peck (author) said:

    Hi Carol, Thank you for your comment and encouragement on this Journal777 blog. I’m convinced that learning to discern God’s voice is crucial to our walk as disciples of Jesus. May the LORD richly bless you on your spiritual journey. Blessings, Joseph

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