This morning I thought that I would write a quick follow-up to our playlist about prayer. There is something that I want to do this year. While I wouldn’t necessarily call it a resolution, I did made the decision the same week we entered a new year, so I suppose I can’t call it anything else. I want to pray with more purpose. I want my conversations with God to be more than “Help! I don’t know what to do!” or “Wow, thank you for that (parking spot, averted disaster, kind comment from a friend, sale on a needed item, etc.)” or “Here is a request for someone I care about” or “I messed up again, please forgive me.” In other words, I want my prayers to be more than those hurried in-the-moment type prayers. Not that in-the-moment prayers are bad (I Thess 5:17). I’m actually very thankful that I’ve grown in my spiritual walk enough to feel comfortable just talking to God throughout my day. Those short, staccato conversations are invaluable in moments of day-to-day living. Just think of Nehemiah standing in front of the King! (Neh 2:4)
Still, if the only talking I did with Paul happened during those frantic, “Help! The computer is doing this funky thing and I don’t know what to do!” phone calls, then our relationship would be much less meaningful. The type of marriage that can handle those frantic phone calls is built through regular, thoughtful communication. The early morning conversations over coffee (during the blessed silence that only sleeping children can afford), pleasant discussions over dinners when out together (again without the children : ), or even those less than pleasant exchanges that keep us up into the early morning hours—all of these strengthen and improve the bonds that tie Paul and me together.
So this year I want to strengthen and improve the bonds that tie me to my Father in heaven (the experiential relational bonds I mean). I want to be intentional in my praying. When I was in college and had a very regular schedule, I was much better at this. I had some specific times during each week when I would go somewhere alone and just pray. But, as it does for all of us, life became increasingly busy and those moments of calm and solace became fewer and farther between. Now I feel as though I’ve reached a terrible place where I can let something like laundry trump my time with God. Ack. So, I purpose to change this (Lord, please let me change in this!).
Like most new years resolutions, I really want to go BIG (an hour every morning! Prayer journal every night! I can do this!!) but I do realize the limitations of my schedule and sanctification. So I’m starting more realistically. I want to intentionally pray twice a week for at least twenty minutes. I want to take a thought from scripture and meditate on it with God. I want to use his own words as the basis for my conversations with him, because really, that’s what scripture is—God’s half of our conversations with him (Psalm 119:1-5). Like the prophets were to the children of Israel, God will use these conversations to guide my steps (Isaiah 30:20-21).
This portion of “Valley of Vision” has always resonated with me. I love it’s stark honesty and I want my heart to echo what it says. Hope that it encourages your heart as well.