Time and a flailing about the art of listening to God limits my prayer life. Lately, he has woken me a little earlier before a run to just listen (so hard to just listen…) and i can choose to be there with him or grab a few more winks. Finding that these spiritual disciplines are best achieved (for me) by walking in a new direction rather than barreling towards a goal (my modus operendi). Just ran down the back service lane of the Zoo and felt the nudge to stop and thank him…give him the day. Thankful for those sweet moments.
What limits your prayer life?
I wrote her that I saw three things that limit our prayer life:
- hunger factor – how badly you’re wanting to pursue God and what you’re prepared to do in that pursuit.
- visible obstacles – sin issues, bad habits that exist in the conscious real.
- invisible obstacles – those things a person may not be postured to hear or deal with – sometimes sins of omission.
What makes it hard for you?
Not recognizing my daily thoughts as prayers. I talk to myself all day (inside my own head, of course). And when I stop to listen to myself, I often find that I’m worrying to myself instead of praying to God. When I can identify that and make the switch, I find that talking to God all day becomes the most natural thing – and it makes for a very peaceful day in the midst of chaos.
Agree with Jen and others above. If I had to stop everything to pray, I would never pray. But, just taking to Dad all day, throughout the day….is awesome and freeing. Thanks Seth, this was awesome.
It is a give and take, a presence…a conversation that like many I have in real life is interrupted all the time, but continues nonetheless. The obstacles are the responsibilities I have in my life. Caring for my mom, being a parent to four with their own hurts, needs, desires, and a wife as well…so there is a rhythm; an ebb and flow. Like Marc said, if I needed to stop it wouldn’t happen but I find myself seeking HIS opinon and voice.
I think many times an obstacle for prayer life is the false beliefs in our mind of what a prayer or prayer life must look like.
In reality, God just wants to hear from us,every thought, every fear, every giggle, every petition, every praise!
We don’t have to be sitting down, by ourselves, we can be in motion and still pray, still have deep conversation with the Lord. HE enables us to hear His voice, interact with Him as long as we make the effort.
If we surround ourselves with Him all day long, prayer is more likely to be on our lips. But people respond, ” I work, how can I do that?”
Make an effort, when you take a restroom break, pull your favorite verses out of your desk drawer that you’ve written on an index card, and claim them as you take a small break.
Finish lunch break a few minutes early to read your favorite devotion, if allowed, quietly play Christian music in the background. Ask God to reveal ways He wants you to spend moments with Him.
When I was a stay at home mom, I made an effort to fill my home with Godly things, what we watched on T.V., listened to on the radio, video games, even play groups. I chose a bible study/ play group instead of just a play group. As I made purposeful efforts, the Lord became more of a daily presence with me and it was natural to pray/ talk to Him all day long.
“Just ran down the back service lane of the Zoo and felt the nudge to stop and thank him…give him the day. Thankful for those sweet moments.”
When we begin to grasp that prayer is not meant to be hard but as easy as a natural conversation with someone we love, it is so freeing.
Not saying I haven’t had my share of struggles in this area over decades.
Progressing in prayer, just as in all the spiritual virtues, takes the bulk of a lifetime, in my humble opinion.
Prayer truly is meant to be as organic as breathing.
There is no other way St. Paul could have challenged us to pray without ceasing if that were not true.
Just saying I am grateful, at 65, to be in a place where prayer is now part of the woof and warp of me.
I can accept no credit for this development.
Just know that what He has begun in all of us He will complete to the day of perfection!
Love you all!