Praying is an act of worship for Christians. Nonbelievers even rely on prayer during hard times when all other options seem lost. Across the world we fall on our knees and cry out, but how many times do we receive a response?
When I was younger, there was a desk chair in my room that I would spin around and talk to while pretending God was sitting across from me eager to listen to my heart. I would speak and then sit and wait for any sign of a response such as blindly opening my Bible hoping to turn to the perfect verse for that moment, or sitting silently waiting for some sort of whisper in my ear. I was seeking something I could see and hear as a reminder that God was, in fact, listening.
These intentional times of prayer were few and far between, and most of my communication with God were desperate pleas or one-sided wishes. Taking time to get to know God was not a priority because deep down I only wanted what He could give to me.
It wasn’t until recently that I started to realize that this approach wasn’t effective, and my spiritual life was suffering. Doubting that God was listening put a huge wedge between us. Instead of using my Bible as the tool for sermon notes, I began to view this book as the tool for my life and the story about my Heavenly Father. If I wanted to hear God, I needed to understand Him on a deeper level.
Written in the thin pages of my Bible were hidden messages about a God I never really understood as fully human and fully God. The “God” part of Him seemed too out of reach, but His “humanity” drew me in. Soon, I didn’t expect to hear Him in the ways I did when I was young. I looked for Him in my everyday life: walks through nature, friends and family interactions, stories of joy and hope, my intuition. And the responses to my prayers started to become short scriptures that were hidden in my heart–not because I spent time memorizing, but because I was enjoying reading the Word in such a way that it was becoming a part of me.
“Do not be afraid.”
“The Lord is good.”
“I can do all things.”
“All have sinned.”
“Trust in the Lord.”
Making time to sit with God is always good, but making your life one of prayerfulness takes your spiritual life to the next level. Living a prayerful life is inviting God into all your thoughts and being open to the Holy Spirit working in your life. He may not give us all the answers to our prayers, but He did give us the gift of Jesus’s sacrifice and the gift of the Holy Spirit–the best answers of all.
How can we encourage prayerfulness in your life? Leave us a comment!