Due to several consecutive weeks of mandatory overtime, my spiritual routine has fallen off the tracks. In the past few weeks, whenever I have skipped my personal prayer and Bible Study for the day, something bad has happened to me or members of my family. While some of you may say you’re reading too much into these unfortunate situations, I want to remind me of the book “You Are What You Eat.” Using the content of this material, I believe you are how you pray.
Be happy [in your faith] and rejoice and be glad-hearted continually (always); 17 Be unceasing in prayer [praying perseveringly]; 18 Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will], 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.
When you attend a Bible Study or Prayer Group, it’s easy to recognize an individual with an active prayer life. My first experience praying out loud was a men’s prayer group in college. I initially went just to listen, learning how other people prayed. After I realized prayer is merely pouring your heart out to God, I started to join in. Like eating right and exercising daily, praying has always been a struggle for me. While studying the Bible comes natural for me, incorporating the Bible into prayer is a work in progress.
Never lag in zeal and in earnest endeavor; be aglow and burning with the Spirit, serving the Lord. 12 Rejoice and exult in hope; be steadfast and patient in suffering and tribulation; be constant in prayer, Romans 12:11-12.
The apostle Paul blames a lack of spiritual zeal for a drop-off in a Christian’s prayer life. You’re tired so you make a conscience decision to skip your time with God. You miss one day, then another. Before you know it, a whole week has passed before the last time you prayed. Living on a Prayer may have worked for Bon Jovi, but not in this age of spiritual darkness. While God doesn’t promise to answer your prayers, keep on knocking, Matthew 7:7-12, like the persistent widow in Luke 18.
by Jay Mankus