Today’s devotion builds on the thoughts from Sunday’s Sermon – Week 1 of “Compelled – Living the Value of Persistent Prayer” (LISTEN HERE).
Is prayer a first resort or a last resort?
Is prayer regular or irregular?
Yes and no.
If I am honest with you about my prayer life, it is a first resort at times and at times a last resort. I go through seasons of regular prayer, but too often it is irregular.
So I have opportunity to grow in this area.
Daniel was a godly man of wisdom and prayer. In fact his habits were so predictable, it was the only way his detractors had a chance to get rid of him. His opponents got King Darius to sign a decree that for 30 days people could only worship or pray to the king. Any other prayers to any other gods would be punishable by time in the lions’ den.
Daniel’s response when he heard about this decree?
Daniel 6:10 Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.
His prayer life didn’t change because of the decree. He continued his habit of praying to the Lord, and praying to him as a first resort, not a last.
What a great example of a persistent pray’er!
So how can we develop a habit of prayer? Here are a few suggestions:
Create a habit by setting a time or times for prayer.
Daniel had three times a day that he set aside for prayer. My guess is whether the day was busy or slow, he would take these times to connect with the Lord.
What times might you set aside?
Maybe start with one set time a day. Morning routines are beneficial to set the tone for your day. Evening routines bring closure to the day (but if you are like me, I often fall asleep if I wait until my head is on the pillow to pray!). Perhaps a midday break allows for time of reflection and prayer.
Build a habit of prayer by engaging a prayer partner.
Habits are built with partners. When I know someone is counting on me to show up, I am more likely to show up. How about choose a prayer partner with whom you connect every day. For some, that may be prayer time with your spouse. Maybe it is a family prayer time which has a scheduled time to come together. A phone call with a friend to connect and pray through your day can be beneficial.
Use your device to remind you of your prayer time.
Electronic devices can be a good way to set a reminder to pop up on your screen or watch and remind you to pray. Apple watch vibrates when it’s time to stand up, or get ready for bed, or when an appointment is coming up. Why not set daily reminders to remind you to pray? Try it and see how it works for you.
Prayer is not about “checking the box” to get it out of the way. Prayer is a privilege that the Lord desires us to enjoy and take advantage of. A habit of prayer ensures we are enjoying the blessing of prayer regularly in our lives!
Apply: Choose one of the above mentioned ideas and begin to implement it today.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for always being present when I pray to you. Give me the resolve and the discipline to make conversations with you a habitual part of my day, week, and month. AMEN!