Prayer: Not just a bedtime routine

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. Colossians 4:2 NIV

The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. 1 Peter 4:7 NIV

Well then, what shall I do? I will pray in the spirit, and I will also pray in words I understand. I will sing in the spirit, and I will also sing in words I understand. 1 Corinthians 14:15 New Living Translation

Growing up I learned a prayer: “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep.  If I shall die before I wake, I pray thee Lord my soul to keep.”  I said this prayer faithfully every night, as best a child could remember!

And at most mealtimes I would be found saying, “God is good, God is great!  God, thank you for this food to eat.”

Yep, that was my prayer toolbox for many years. Not much outside of these rote prayers.  Not much thinking or creativity, just reciting and checking my time with God off the list.  Can you relate?

I did ‘talk’ to God more as a teen, but I did not really get to know God until I started reading the Bible.  The Bible has so much to guide our prayer life and to give us a rich, joyous, power-filled time together with the One who created us.

I am including just a sampling of verses on prayer to whet your appetite to search for yourself.  Taking time each day to ‘talk’ to the Father by the power of the Holy Spirit, in the name of Christ has transformed my life.  Now, where there was uncertainty there is unshakable confidence.  Where there was unrest there is peace.  Where there was dis-contentment there is joy.

If I miss a morning time meeting with God, the day is not the same, and I quickly find myself off track.  I truly understand why people refer to the Bible as “bread” because it truly feeds me.  It fills me up with all good things and my hope is that good things come out of me when I am in constant contact with the source of all that is good.

“the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness, self-control”   Galatians 5:22-23 English Standard Version

Sometimes when I am unsure what or how to pray, I still go back to the way Christ taught us to pray in Matthew 6 (see for suggestions of how to meditate on it).

So, for those of you with rote prayers, I challenge you to begin to really think upon the words you are using, check to see if they come from your heart or just from your brain.  Perhaps you need a new approach?  Open up your copy of God’s Word and start expanding your prayer toolbox.  I promise you will gain so much more than new words to recite!


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