I had gotten into a rut. Praying the same prayers. As if it were just rote memorization but not actual communication to my Lord, Guider of all life.
After reading two books, one on praying and the other on living to abundantly bless those with our excess I opted to do a praying experiment.
I didn’t have grandiose plans for the short experiment but was curious to see where it led.
I realized I had some excess time that I could funnel into prayer time instead of Instagram or blog reading/writing time.
Starting with 5 minutes on the first day, I prayed and added 3 minutes each subsequent day.
I was curious if my ever distracted, multitasking mind could handle praying for long periods of time.
I was curious if this alone time would boost my relationship with my Savior or leave me even more “bored”.
Just as some days are mundane ones, others are filled with new experiences. I found the prayer time similar to daily life. If I was focused and seeking time with God, the prayer time sped by. Likewise if I was tired, I’d easily get distracted or fall asleep.
I left the experiment wanting more. More prayer time, more quiet moments in His presence, more earnestness to seek Him. I long for asking big prayers and seeing big answers.
I learned that:
1. A prayer journal is really helpful.
2. Recording my prayer list helped me stay on task.
3. Adding Scripture verses to various prayer points gave me beautiful words that I could really understand and ask forthrightly.
4. Starting a timer on my phone gave me total freedom to pray and be in communion with Christ knowing I had set aside the time and made the time priority.
5. During my longer prayer times, I found my days flowed better. I was content and peaceful. All my concerns I had already laid down at the feet of Jesus. All I needed to do was wait; listening and watching for the answer.
I worked up to an hour but felt led to stop when I noticed I had to multitask to complete the allotted prayer time within a 24 hour period before falling sleep.
After asking my husband for wisdom on when I should end the experiment and we mutually agreed that it was probably the right time to end it, I had to battle guilt.
My sinful heart loves to accuse me of giving up for the wrong reasons, heaping coals on my head reminding me how human I am. So I have prayed in the short quick moments in the day that I wouldn’t bow to guilt.
Now that I have been able to digest this experiment, I hope to build in a little more blocked prayer time into my daily routine.
Did you know Martin Luther prayed for at least 2 hours every day? I may not have the fortitude of Martin Luther but surely I can chisel out 15 or 20 minutes in the early quiet to talk to my King.
And I recognize that there will be seasons of my life where even those few precious minutes will need to be elsewhere.
Praying to the Prince of Peace has given me the direction to the flow of my life.