I have a prayer problem

Yesterday on the bus I was reading “Disciplines of a Godly Man”, by R. Kent Hughes. It was the chapter on the discipline of prayer that really got me thinking. I thought this was a great insight “The context of Paul’s charge in Ephesians 6 is spiritual warfare – and that is what prayer is! Christian men face the world – and fall on their knees.” (p104)

But what challenged me most was that my own prayer life is so lacking in discipline, substance (i.e. a set prayer time) and perseverance. One of Hughes’ suggestions was around a prayer list, and he gave some great practical tips. My problem is that I have tried a prayer list and it is great for my task orientated religious bent, and it quickly becomes a task list, something I have to achieve, boxes I have tick. That is not where I want to be.

But on the other hand, when I just try to “free flow” and pray out of the overflow of my heart. I just don’t pray, well not in any structured way, just in an ad hoc kind of way when it actually occurs to me. Now both of these approaches are revealers of my heart – religious, task orientated approach to God on the other hand, and apathetic, caught up in my own world distance on the other hand.

In short I want to want to pray and I want to want to love God more not get more religious! So all you wise and godly readers out there, what should I do? What can I practically do to grow my prayer life in both discipline and joy?

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~ by John on June 12, 2008.

3 Responses to “I have a prayer problem”

  1. […] Kasey (Ethan’s Mommy) wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptIt was the chapter on the discipline of prayer that really got me thinking. I thought this was a great insight “The context of Paul’s charge in Ephesians 6 is spiritual warfare – and that is what […] […]

  2. Hey John, I’ve found that using prayer books is really helpful, that way you’re not mumbling around trying to figure out what to do to so. I’ve had to be careful though, it’s not that difficult to fall into just reading it with out really thinking about what you’re reading, but over all, I find it can really help you focus on your prayer life more

  3. Try to find a way that works for you. Everyone has a way that works for them. The prayer lists help as it does help us focus on others and on talking to God about the things that matter to him and us. But use those on days that you can’t think of anything to pray about.

    What works for me is sitting down and writing down my prayers. I don’t need to save it when I’m done, but it does help me to stay focussed in my prayer time. The biggest problem I have is trying to think of everything that I need to pray for.

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