Let’s talk about prayer in today’s Lent Devotional for Women. One of the questions I have asked friends of The Littlest Way is something along the lines of, “What are your obstacles to prayer?” The answers to the prayer obstacle questions are varied, but almost always include these: distraction, don’t know what to say, finding the time.
With the topic of prayer on my mind, I found this quote in the book, In Conversation with God, “If you abandon prayer, you may at first live on spiritual reserves, and, after that, by cheating.”
So I wonder, how many of us are cheating?
And first, let me say, I’m not accusing you or us of anything in this Lenten devotional. It’s life right? And sometimes we cheat, squeak, or struggle our way through it…sometimes all three simultaneously. And sometimes, yes, I’m gonna go there, sometimes our prayer time is the first place we cheat.
Our prayer time being the first place we cheat isn’t because we don’t love God. It isn’t because we don’t think prayer isn’t important. I think, and correct me if I’m wrong, I think it’s because we know He will still be there.
And that’s right, He will still be there, but the farther we go away from him, the longer it will take us to get back. It’s like when I decided one time I was going to walk two miles. I set out to walk two miles and once I hit the two-mile mark, I turned around and realized, now I have to walk back two miles! My two-mile walk suddenly turned into a four-mile walk!
I know, how could I not have thought that through? Welcome to the person my husband and children live with on a daily basis! But that’s beside the point. Like I said, suddenly my two-mile walk became a four-mile walk! And since the milage doubled, so did the time and the fatigue or weariness.
Do you see the similarities to our prayer life? We start cheating our God time thinking we’ll do it later and later keeps getting put off; it keeps getting farther and farther away.
The required effort now seems greater if it isn’t in reality, greater. And, because we’ve gone so far away, we might be a little tired, a little road weary; life can do that.
We didn’t realize a difference though did we? We didn’t realize how far away we had gotten. Remember the quote above mentioned living on reserves? But pretty soon, our reserves may not be enough to get us back to where we were–back to our friendship with God.
So, let’s do some homework here. Set aside some time, at least a good solid 5-10 minutes, and answer these questions:
- My ideal prayer time is…
- My ideal prayer place is…
- My ideal prayer flow is…
- My ideal prayer time length is…
- My ideal materials or supplies are…
Now, answer why to each of those questions.
My ideal prayer time is first thing in the morning. The reason morning is my ideal prayer time is because it gets my day started with Jesus and because I get my God time in before my day can begin to crowd it out and push my prayer time until “later.”
My ideal prayer place is in my bedroom in a chair beside my bed. My bedroom is my ideal prayer place because I’m right there already, my chair beside my bed looks out over the backyard and back field area. I can see the morning sunrise reflected on the barn. And, it’s quiet and away from anyone who might be getting up and feel the need to start…talking. You feel me on that one?
My ideal prayer flow is to say my Morning Offering first. Then to pray for Chris and the kids. Next friends and various intentions. Then, read my daily Bible reading, listening for God in His Word. I’ll also go through the Scripture Writing Plan and journaling reflection questions from our Online Bible Study for the month.
My ideal prayer length is enough time to get all that in and then maybe some quiet time or study time. The minimum I think would be at least 20-30 minutes.
Your turn. If you’d like to share in the comments, I’d love to hear your responses.