Prepping For Prayer

Prepping For Prayer

When one of our sons proposed to his bride-to-be, he prepared for the big moment. Extensively. He recreated one of their favorite spots—even securing their favorite table, yes, the actual restaurant table! He hired a photographer. He flew her parents in for the engagement party. He attended to every detail—and created a perfect proposal she will never forget.

Our spiritual discipline for February centers on prayer. Focused prayer takes work—that alone should tip us off. The enemy doesn’t want us to go here. He will pull out all the stops to keep you from praying. Distractions. Fatigue. The tick-tick-tick of the clock. 

We must prepare. Just as two people in relationship need time together, time with God is vital to our relationship with Him. Here are some tips to make the most of your prayer time:

Where: “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Matthew 6:6 NIV

Scripture speaks of a prayer closet, but drowsiness is an issue for me. If I’m spending time in intercession, I need to move around. Walking the dog makes a great venue for prayer. I’m moving. I’m alert. I’m outside. Other times, an uncomfortable chair, praying on my knees, or having my prayer journal handy keeps me focused. Settle on your logistics. Experiment with what works best for you. Keep a notepad nearby. When you think of an item that needs your attention, jot it down, then return to prayer. 

When: “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.” Mark 1:35

Morning sets the tone for the day. However, getting up at the crack of dawn does us no good if we’re falling asleep instead of praying. Allow yourself time for coherency. Want some coffee? Get a cup. Or two. Need to get the kids off first? Great! Come back ready to focus on your Beloved or take advantage of your commute to work to pray.

How long: “ . . . pray continually.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17

I’ve read stories of spiritual giants who prayed for hours. I promise you, they didn’t begin there. I’ve run five marathons. To transition from a non-runner to a marathoner takes time and training. The Couch to 5K Program combines walking and running until the new runner has built up endurance to run the 3.1 miles. Likewise, start with small blocks of prayer. Combine with Scripture and you have loads of prayer right from the Word. But don’t stop there. Keep the conversation going through the day.

Make a date with God. Set yourself up for success by prepping for prayer.

Workout for the Week: Prepping for Prayer

Memory Verse: Choose one of the verses above. 

Meditation Passage: Matthew 6:5-15

Do it: Prep today for your prayer time tomorrow.

Resources for prayer: Mark Batterson’s The Circle Maker and others in his series.