Hoping prayer will change my life.

June 28, 2010 at 6:59 am 2 comments

This summer, I am doing a Bible study called “Let Prayer Change Your Life.”   I was excited to sign up for the study when I first heard about it; prayer is a weak spot in my Christian walk, and I could definitely learn how to bolster it.

I’ve never been a diligent pray-er.  I’m good at off-the-hip prayer, many of which are for unimportant things.  Hey, God, would you help me find my car keys?  Thanks. I do a lot of praying in the middle of the night.  Lord, please help my children to sleep.  PLEASE?!?!

Organized prayer, now that’s a different story.  I’ve never been one to carve out dedicated time for prayer or even for reading my Bible.  There are only so many hours in the day, hours I could use to do something more task-oriented.  I’ve relegated my prayer time to those moments after my head hits the pillow, and invariably I fall asleep somewhere in the middle.  Heavenly Father, thank you for all you’ve given…  Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Praying takes discipline.  And discipline is not something that comes naturally to me.  The first part of discipline is planning, which I am good at.  I like to sit down, make a list, create a plan.

But the second part of discipline is follow-up and follow-through, and this is where I fall down.  I’m not good at working the plan.  This isn’t just in my prayer life; it’s in ALL parts of my life.  Weight loss.  Home management.  Writing.  By the time I’ve put together a plan for something, I’m bored with that something and on to the next thing that’s taken over my brain.  Although I’ve never been diagnosed with it, I’m convinced I have a mild version of ADD.  I bounce from idea to idea and project to project.  I’m good at starting things; finishing them, not so much.

Last week’s session in our study talked directly to me.  In the session, the speaker was talking about discipline.  How she decided to devote an hour every day to prayer.  How she relied on God to help her have the discipline to make time for Him.  And how the discipline in that one area of her life led to discipline in all other areas of her life.

How is it – in 34 years of being a Christian – that I’d never thought to ask God to help me with discipline?  For some reason, I thought it had to come from within me, that I was solely responsible for finding the discipline to pray regularly and workout regularly and not fill my face with junk food regularly.  Left to my own devices, I’m a miserable failure.   It takes divine intervention to get out of my own way, to overcome my natural tendencies towards laziness and procrastination.

God knows me, though, and He makes accommodations for my shortcomings.  This morning, for instance, I had my alarm set for 6:15, with the intentions of getting up and doing my devotional time early.  I have a habit, however, of turning the alarm off and deciding that sleep is more important, that I’ll fit my quiet time in sometime later in the day.  Then the day gets rolling and the kids get up and the next time I find a moment to myself is right before bedtime.  By that time I’m so blasted I can barely concentrate on one chapter, and I realize I haven’t spent any quality time with Brad, and I put off my study again until the next day.  It’s a vicious cycle that just keeps repeating itself.

But this morning, Ashley woke up at 6:00.  After a dry diaper and a drink, she went back to sleep for a bit. Okay, God, I’m up, I thought.  I’ll keep our appointment.  But I’m requesting a nap later.  Can you help me out with that?


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Entry filed under: Life in general.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Anne  |  July 3, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    Hey Amy,
    I used to have a really pathetic prayer life. My thoughts at the time were that praying was done to please God. Then I finally realized that praying pleased/helped me! I feel that if I don’t start my day in prayer it goes to pot very quickly along with my attitude. However, there’s no organization to it. I usually get up, drink my coffee, meet a number of demands from my children and then stow away for a very short five minutes to reflect on my blessings, thanking God f, and then lay out my desires and NEEDS (usually for things like patience and love for my kids.) Anyhow, I liked your post, it reminded me of how important prayer is in my life.

    Reply
  • […]  What about your daily prayer time?  Are you sticking with […]

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