Let’s be honest, Christians, because I don’t think I’m alone in this. It is hard for me to pray. I’d like to say that I’m too busy or I don’t have time but those are excuses not real reasons. As my pastor used to say, “An excuse is the skin of a reason stuffed with a lie.” So, no excuses. I’m either too lazy or secretly don’t think prayer works or don’t think that God is listening and will answer me. In addition, one of Satan’s goals is to prevent us from praying. So, prayer is hard for me. Why? I can’t see God and it feels so alone. Me and the Unseen God. Alone. In addition, prayer means telling God my deepest, darkest secrets (as if He doesn’t already know!). It is uncomfortable and I’d rather be a doer of the Word than a pray-er of the Word.
Then I run into a verse like Mark 1:35, “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” Oh my! Jesus prayed to His Father alone before the sun rose. I’ve taken heart from this and other verses and about three months ago I began a new approach to prayer.
Like many of you, I wake up during the night and I often have difficulty falling back to sleep. My new approach is to use this awake time to pray and sing to the Lord (silently so Elsie doesn’t wake up). I always sing the same two praise songs to the Lord, “I Love You, Lord” and “Thank You, Lord, for Saving My Soul.” I then pray for Elsie and myself and for every member of our family. I pray for clients Elsie and I are counseling. I pray for extended family members and friends. I usually wind up praying and singing praise for over an hour! I’m not bragging because this is quite unusual for me, the guy who couldn’t sit still long enough to pray for ten minutes.
If you find yourself awake in the night and having a rough time falling back to sleep try singing praise to the Lord and praying to Him. I suggest starting with yourself and your spouse, your nuclear family, your extended family, your friends, and any others the Lord lays on your heart. Finally, I’m convinced that God wants to talk with us through prayer and is less concerned about our posture, duration, and time of day. He just wants to meet with us to bless and encourage us.
Prayer changes things. Prayer changes me.