“In the second half of my adult life, I discovered prayer.”
Timothy Keller – Prayer
I’m in the second half of my life… and I’m discovering prayer. I’ve known about prayer. I’ve talked about prayer. I’ve read about prayer. But, at age 46, I am discovering prayer. I’ve got a lot to learn about prayer but what I’m learning that’s most important about prayer is actually praying. It’s one thing to think about prayer but it’s altogether another experience to actually get busy praying.
Why has it taken so long to make this discovery?
Busyness? Not sure if that’s a valid reason because I know for certain if Bono called me and asked to meet with me, I’d clear my schedule real quick to make time for that.
Don’t know how? That might be part of it, but Jesus not only modeled for us a life of prayer He also taught on how to pray. And there are more than enough examples in the Scriptures to help me understand ‘how’ to pray.
A.D.D.? My ability to begin in prayer only to get distracted within .45 seconds by the ‘proverbial squirrel’ – well, that battle is real, but I’m not sure me chasing squirrels is what’s held me back from discovering prayer.
Why has it taken so long to discover prayer? The list of reasons could be really long, but if I’m being honest, and as a guest on Kyle's Korner I feel that I should be nothing but brutally honest, I think the answer is simple…
I BELIEVE THINGS ABOUT GOD THAT ARE NOT TRUE.
Here are just a few things…
‘What’s the point? God is going to do what He wants to do, so why pray?’
‘I’m a mess! Pretty sure God does not want to hear from me.’
‘I’ve prayed for many things, many times and I’ve begun wondering if God really cares about what I’m talking to Him about.’
This is just the short list of things I’ve believed about God that I know not to be true. When we believe things about God that are not true, prayerlessness will ensue.
Before I could discover the beauty and power and transformation of prayer (still learning these things), I had to first discover if there were things about God that I was believing about God that are not consistent with who He is.
How about you? Have you discovered prayer? Specifically the of prayer that changes you from the inside out? The life of prayer that gives you fresh stories of God at work in, with, through and around you?
What I am discovering about prayer afresh in this season of life is that prayer cannot begin with prayer – it must begin with God. Seems simple enough but often it’s the simple things in life that get neglected the easiest. If I’m going to grow in prayer, it cannot just be about lists to pray, or locations to pray in, and even just trying to hunker down and establish new disciplines of prayer. If it’s just that, well, in time, praying through a laundry list of requests can become stale and even the most disciplined people can grow weary with just doing something out of sheer will.
Discovering prayer is about discovering God – who He is and what He is like.
I am convinced that if we can learn afresh who our Creator is, prayer will follow. If we can capture or recapture a glimpse of His beauty, His holiness, His power, His love, His compassion, His rule and reign, being with God in prayer will not be something we struggle to schedule, rather we’ll begin to wrestle with the question ‘how will I have time to get anything else done in light of how much time I want to be with God in prayer?’
In just a few short days, the GENESIS community begins its next round of Twenty-One Days of Prayer. I’m confident that the stories coming from these Twenty-One Days of Prayer will be less about what we discovered about prayer and more about what we discovered about God.
Looking forward to the exploration ahead!