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I Wish I Knew This When I First Started Praying


When I first started attending church, I remember seeing a picture of a “prayer wheel” somewhere.


It was a picture of a circle divided into sections like a pie chart, and each part represented something you were supposed to do during prayer and how much time you should spend on it.


For example, one section might have said, “Reflection - 5 minutes. Think of everything God has done for you.”


In other words, it was a simple resource we could use during our prayer time to help us be more effective.


Praying Can Be Hard


I don’t know about you, but I don’t always know what to say when praying. I’ve been a Christian for 20 years, and there are times when I’m still lost for words when I pray.


I’ve even fallen asleep during prayer. This sometimes happens when I lie in bed and attempt to talk to God.


So, don’t feel bad if you sometimes struggle in this area. I think everyone does.


But even though we struggle, prayer is an essential part of our lives that we must make a habit of doing. “Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thess. 5:17)


I’ve learned that concentrated, organized prayer time is probably the most powerful tool I have in my spiritual toolkit.


What Is Prayer Time?


When I say “prayer time,” I don’t mean a quick “shout out” to God on your way to work or the kind of prayer that only comes out when we’re going through a difficult situation and need God’s help.


Acts 3:1 says that Peter and John went to the temple at the “hour of prayer.”


From this, we can learn that:


  1. They “went” to prayer, meaning it required them to take action. They had to get up and literally walk to the temple. Prayer time should require you to take action - “I need to go to my bedroom to pray.” “I must find a quiet place to pray.” “I need to get up out of my bed so I don’t fall asleep during prayer.”

  2. They went to the “temple,” meaning they had a specific place to pray. Jesus calls this your “prayer closet,” in which you go into and “shut the door.” (Matt. 6:6) Find the best place for you to have private prayer. It could be a bedroom, a remote location outside, a church… anywhere you can designate as your spot and “shut the door.”

  3. They had an “hour” or prayer, meaning they carved out time for this. Prayer time should be a strict time that you block out for prayer. The time you choose to pray could vary from time to time, but the point is that you designate this time specifically for communing with God. In the morning, before work, at night, from 8-9, from 10:05-10:15, etc.


To remember these three things we can learn about prayer, think of “APT” - this is apt for your prayer life. Or, think of it like this: “I have an appointment (apt.) with God.” Action, place, and time.


Go To Wal-Mart and Get Yourself a Prayer Life


I don’t know what happened to my prayer wheel. Now, I don’t believe that prayer should be a legalistic, robotic method to where I must pray this way.


But still, the concept behind that old prayer wheel is powerful. It taught me to get a prayer life. And as my old pastor used to say, “If you don’t have a prayer life, you need to go down to Wal-Mart and get you one.”


Unfortunately, I think many believers don’t pray as much as they should, or perhaps they don’t pray like they should.


However, I would love to give you a hand with this! I believe you are already as close to God as ever. But prayer time will cause you to feel that closeness more.


Since I couldn’t find my 20-year-old prayer wheel, I needed to create something different to help my prayer life.


For next week’s article, I’ll share it with you! It’s all about keeping the TEMPO as you pray…


Be blessed,


Jamey


p.s. If you want to learn more about prayer, such as common ways people do it wrong and 5 tips to pray better, see:


Day 22 in my book How to Understand the Bible in 30 Days.

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