Do you like to pray? Do you find yourself praying often? Or is prayer one of those activities that you just can’t seem to get into? I used to think that prayer was boring, dry, and specifically for people who seem close to God like my pastor, the church mother, or someone who had a voice like thunder who could pray down an instant miracle.
But that was far from the truth. I’ve learned over the years that prayer is simply a conversation between you and God. It’s a form of communication that includes thanksgiving, praises, adoration, concerns, anguish, and other details. It’s like communicating with a spouse, brother, friend, or loved one. And the best example of a life of prayer that we witness in the bible is the son of God, himself Jesus.
Let’s take a look.
The life of Jesus was characterized by prayer. Although we are often fascinated by the physical miracles, the thought-provoking teachings, and the suffering He endured, one thing remained a constant throughout His entire ministry up until His crucifixion.
He withdrew to pray.
Mark 1:35 shares that “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” That’s right! Jesus Himself, who knew God, who is God, a part of the trinity got up to Pray. This is one of many scriptures that shows us that prayer was a priority to Jesus. And not only that, he dedicated time to praying.
If the Son of God valued intentional, undisturbed time with His Heavenly Father, how much more is that applicable to us? Jesus lived an exemplary life, one that we’re called to follow, which includes living a prayerful life. To become a woman of prayer we have to look to Jesus and see why He valued prayer the way that He did.
What prayer means & its power
In its simplest form, prayer is how we get to communicate with God. Whenever people talk about the most important aspects of a relationship, it is always said that communication is key. If we are in a relationship with God, why would it be any different? A relationship is two-way. God’s primary way of communicating with us is through His Word, and we connect with Him through prayer.
Apart from Glorifying His name, and bringing others to the knowledge of Christ, one of God’s main works in our lives is to make us more like Jesus. A quick reference list of the qualities of Jesus can be found in Galatians 5:22-23. Jesus bore the fruit of the spirit.
When we come to God in humble, diligent prayer, we can ask Him to make us more like Christ. It is God’s will for us to bear fruit, and to be conformed to the image of His Son. As women, we have so many different roles and responsibilities. Many of us are the matriarch of our families and we must pray as this will help sustain, empower, and uplift us. Not only that, we get to spend time in prayer with someone so loving, understanding, and who will also communicate back to us in a way in which we can understand and recognize. We can also receive further instructions about our concerns.
So, as we pray, we ask God to do His powerful work of the heart, shaping our stony hearts into moldable hearts. He makes an unforgiving heart gracious, an anxious heart peaceful, and a hurting heart whole as we seek Him in prayer.
The reason many of us neglect prayer
I believe that prayer is a very neglected discipline in Christian life. There is no limit to how long we can pray, yet most days we may find ourselves in a rushed prayer to get to the other commitments in our life.
A busy life is exactly the kind of life that requires prayer. Jesus’ life was filled with ministry and work. Remember, he was a carpenter? When He rose to fame it made it difficult for Him to go anywhere without someone wanting Him to perform a miracle, heal the sick, teach, or some act of kindness. Yet, amid growing crowds and various requests, Jesus retreated to the quiet place to pray.
Some of us complain that we don’t have enough time to pray, if we’re honest most of us simply place prayer as a low priority in our lives. Prayer was so important to Jesus, that He rose earlier than usual, before He did anything else, not because prayer was taking away something from Him (to us that would be time taken away) but because prayer was filling Him up for everything ahead of Him.
In my view, one of the reasons prayer ranks so low on our priority list is because we misunderstand the power of prayer. We don’t realize how emptying ourselves before God is how He fills us with Himself. No time is wasted in prayer.
Prayer doesn’t have to be complicated
The truth is that sometimes we just don’t know where to begin when it comes to prayer. Perhaps you’ve heard someone pray long fanciful prayers and you think your prayers should look or sound a certain way. Let me encourage you with this, prayer does not have to be complicated. God wants you, not a show. You can come to Him as to a Father, as to a Friend who longs to hear about your day, your struggles, your small wins, huge victories, and the needs you have.
If you’re not sure where to start with prayer, or if your prayer life has felt stagnant, there is no better place to take a lead from than scripture itself. In Matthew 6:9-13 Jesus teaches His disciples to pray what we know as The Lord’s Prayer. It is our model prayer and guides us in what we can pray for.
It starts with an address to God. When praying remember that You are speaking with the creator of the universe, although we can speak to God like ourselves, we must be reminded to speak to Him with reverence and respect. The Lord’s Prayer then goes on to show that we can pray for our daily needs, for the forgiveness of our sins, that God’s will might be done on earth, and that He would guide us and help us to fight against temptation.
These are all building blocks for prayer. From these “sections” many different petitions, thanksgiving, praises, requests, and more can flow.
Growing in prayer in practical and creative ways
Sometimes we view prayer as a once-a-day, in the privacy of our home kind of thing. But the truth is that we can pray wherever we are, any time of the day. If you didn’t get to pray this morning before you left home, you can pray on your way to work, while you’re in the grocery store, as you wait at a coffee shop or as you walk down the street. I often find myself praying in the kitchen, in my car, walking around my neighborhood, or wherever and whenever prayer comes to my mind.
Scripture tells us in Philippians 4:6-7:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
We are natural worriers, and God knows this. Yet, here scripture challenges us to replace our worry with prayer. This can be a great place to start practicing, weaving prayer into your life more. As anxious thoughts come up, or even before something drives you to the point of a breakdown, decide to take it to God and pray and watch Him bring you to a peace that would not have otherwise been there having you not turned to Him in prayer.
Another way you can grow in making prayer a part of your daily life is by journaling. Journaling is my jam! Yes, writing out your prayers on paper or in a notebook as though you were writing a letter to God. One of the benefits of writing down your prayers is that you are more focused and deliberate. It can be easy to wander off when we pray but through journaling, we are forced to be present. We become more reflective. And guess what? Later on down the road, we can come to the prayers we wrote down to report how God responded and be encouraged to continue.
A great encouragement that comes with journaling is the fact that you are documenting every step of the way. It is not always easy to see what God is doing at the moment, and sometimes when you feel discouraged looking back at past prayers serves as a reminder of what He has brought you out of and how He has indeed been working in your life.
Become a Woman a Prayer
There is so much to say about prayer. A personal study of what scripture says about prayer would be extremely beneficial to your walk with Christ, and your growth as a prayerful woman. As you hide in Him through prayer, He will mold you into the glorious image of His Son. So commit to becoming a woman of prayer today.
Wanna learn more about prayer? Check out my blog post 4 Places to Pray with Fewer Disruptions