How to Have A Better Prayer Time

I stare up at the clock projected on the ceiling. 4:30AM

It’s been consistant for awhile now. A quiet nudge. A call to prayer.

I get up and plod down the hallway trying to shake of the sleepies.

Words ring in my head of the speaker we heard in bible study this week.

“We need to be praying more.”

I feel it the truth of it in my bones. So I kneel on the floor. Maybe that will help me stay focused today.

Lord, thank you for another day. Thank you for strong coffee and warm blankets.

That’s about as far as I make it before my mind drifts.

Remembering the words of this post recall me to the task at hand.

Father please forgive me for my losing my temper with my kids. Please help me to have patience. Please help me to point Lily toward joy when she doesn’t like her snack today. What should we have for snack today? What won’t make her frustrated? You know what, it doesn’t matter, she needs to learn to be joyful for what she gets.

Oh yeah. Prayer. 

This matters so much to me, that it shocks me how bad I am at it. I’m not alone. I’ve heard enough of the sermons, that I now shamelessly turn off the radio when they come on. 

I don’t need to be reminded how much this matters. I don’t need another five point plan about what to say. I don’t need another outline for my prayer life. I just need to be better at it. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. It turns out this has been a problem from the get go.

Stay awake and pray, so that you won't enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Matthew 26:41

After I have deemed an appropriate amount of time has passed, I get up and go sit at the counter, flip on my little light and start reading my scriptures for the day.

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And there I find my prayers.

I inhale His word and I exhale worship.

I inhale His goodness and I exhale praise.

I inhale His mercy and I exhale repentance.

I inhale His love and I exhale intercession.

I find my prayers in response to His word. I find a conversation. I find a relationship being built. 

I can’t remember when I decided that my quiet time had to be the way it was. When I choose to make prayer a monologue that I offered up, only to go sit at the desk and listen to a lecture from my favorite teacher. Why did it not occur to me that relationship is formed in listening, in sharing. In give and take.

Response is the answer to our prayer problems. Being in the prescence of the Word. When our sin battered lives have built walls between us and our Savior and we can’t squeak out a decent word of prayer maybe just maybe we can hear Him go first.

Me too.

Me too Lord!

The words come easier.

The hope of glory, black and white in front of my eyes, focuses my blurry early morning spirit. In the dim glow of nightlight, I catch just a small glimpse of the Light and I can only yearn for more. 

His Strength seeps into my bones as my soul responds to His Words. My eyes clear enough to be filled with thanks. My heart steps on the path of a million little ways to love. 

His words. Our prayers.

Perhaps this is what we need to stay focused during our prayer time: To fix our eyes up on Jesus. 

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. Isaiah 55:11

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