She wiped her sweaty forehead as she climbed up the treacherous hill. The sun was so bright and so hot! Her mouth was dry, and often she slipped on the rocky soil, caking her shoes with dust. Often the thought passed through her mind “Why am I doing this?”
It had been so easy yesterday, running on the straight and smooth road that was part of the journey. She became discouraged and her thoughts strayed away from her goal of finishing the trip. She felt weak and listless, and didn’t feel like pressing on. “What’s the use?” The mean little thought nagged at her. But then she remembered that endurance was important. After all, she was in the service of the King…
I just thought I’d make a short tale that would represent what Christians sometimes go through when they pray. When they really pray. A friend of mine recently blogged about her thoughts on prayer, and I was meaning to do the same thing. Shows how God’s children think alike!
Prayer. It’s one of the hardest thing a Christian is called to do. It’s a battle at times, and it doesn’t come easy. In fact, it’s very much like exercise. Sometimes you feel in great spiritual shape and you pray like never before- other times you feel dry, or disconnected, or your thoughts wander far away, you get side-tracked, or you’re just in a bad mood….and you just don’t feel like praying, like when you’d rather snuggle in an armchair and read a good book than go start your exercise routine for the day.
Have you ever felt that way about prayer? I know I have.
But remember that prayer is essential to our Christian life! Just like exercise is essential for your physical health! Through prayer we can pour out our hearts before the Lord, share with Him our joys, call on Him in our distress and emergencies. There is so much to say on this topic of prayer, but I just want to encourage you in one thing. PRAY. And do it daily. No matter how you feel.
Our Lord Jesus prayed very often. “Rising up a great while before day, he . . . departed into a solitary place, and there prayed” (Mark 1:35).
Let me tell you a little secret…pray for any activity you do throughout the day. Yes- pray that you will be able to finish washing the dishes faster, pray when you have a project that God will make it turn out THE BEST, pray when you do your homework, or when you go out to play that you will get better at that game or break your personal record in jump-rope… pray all the time!
Doesn’t the Bible say pray without ceasing? It means all the time.
One more thing, and I’ll try not to be long. Try to make your own personal prayer list. It is very useful to help you focus and be disciplined in regularly praying for different subjects. (psst. It also helps refresh your memory in case you tend to forget things…).
Here’s how I have my prayer list categorized:
(sorry, it’s not very clear, but you can click on the picture and it will enlarge)
1. First it starts with thanksgiving, praising the Lord for His answers to prayer and other blessings.
2. Next come different emergencies, and these can change more often with time. Whether it is something you really want, or a family member or friend/relative who needs special prayer, I add it there.
3. Then comes the category for my ministry. In your case it can be an evangelizing ministry to your friends, or a blogging ministry, a prayer ministry- and add your specific requests for it there.
4. Then come my personal goals. For my spiritual walk, for my hopes and dreams, for school aspects, and future
5. I also have a category for my family. Our requests as a whole, and for each person of the family.
6. Finally I category for different people, our nation and other requests. At the bottom I have the “extra” category, where I pencil in a new prayer request or things I forgot so that I can add them in the next prayer list that I print out when the one I am using gets tattered.
That’s just an example of my prayer list to encourage you to make one of your own. You can categorize it however you want! The most important thing is to pray.
“Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”