From the devotional, The Word For You.
From Andrew Murray’s classic book on prayer, With Christ In The School Of Prayer, a pupil needs a teacher who knows his work, who has the gift of teaching, who in patience and love will descend to the pupil’s needs. Blest be God, Jesus is all this and much more! When we have questions such as 1) I’m not sure God’s listening to me, 2)I don’t understand why some prayers go unanswered, 3) Am I praying right? I’m frustrated with my prayer life. 4) If you want to feel more connected to God and have confidence that you prayers really do matter, say Lord, teach ME to pray!
There are some principles for prayer but we really need to understand that God will lead each of us individually. He wants to take us just as we are and develop in us a “rhythm of prayer.” He wants to develop in each of us a style of prayer that maximizes our own personal relationship with Him. He wants prayer to be an easy, natural, life-giving way of communicating as you share your heart with Him and allow Him to share His heart with you! Prayer is so simple…it’s nothing more than talking to Him and taking the time to listen to what He has to say to you. God has a personalized prayer plan for you, a way for you to communicate most effectively with Him. We begin by saying, “Lord, teach me to pray.”
One of the dangers of being involved in God’s work is that you go weeks or even months without praying. In a survey of 1,000 pastors, half acknowledged that they often went long periods of time without taking time to pray except for the functions in the church. They preach sermons on it but didn’t practice it themselves. Can you relate? Jesus rose hours before dawn to spend time with His Father, sometimes He prayed all night, and it showed. His incredible success flowed out of His very rich relationship with His Father. He made deposits every morning so that He could make withdrawals all day long.
We can start by taking small amounts of time in the morning, and adding small amounts of time praying throughout the day as things come to my heart and finally ending my day by talking with Him as I fall asleep. When Paul said to pray without ceasing, this is what he meant. You can move from sporadic prayer times to measured. disciplined times without being legalistic. The more you put into it, the more pleasant it becomes and you enjoy the time spent with Him. It is no longer an obligation but a pleasure and privilege. I now realize I cannot survive a day without and be satisfied. I no longer approach God timidly, but I now approach Him boldly, as His Word teaches me to do, and with great expectation. Put it into operation, you will be very pleasantly surprised, pleased, and satisfied.