7 Ways To Supercharge Your Prayers: Day 1
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Prayer Supercharger Day 1
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Prayer is harder than we would like it to be.
I base this on a lifetime of having conversations with people about prayer, and never once having heard someone say “I find it really easy.” Some find it easier than others, and some find it easier now than it was when they started out, but no one finds it easy.
This difficulty with prayer is confusing and frustrating. If prayer is an essential part of our lives why does it seem unnatural compared to other essentials like eating, sleeping, and breathing?
There are many reasons why. Most of them are beyond the range of this brief devotional. If you want to dive more into prayer I recommend “Prayer” by Richard Foster as a worthy guide and place where you will find some answers to your questions about prayer in a more comprehensive way. Our focus here will be much narrower and aim for teaching immediately implementable practical steps.
We will look at 7 ways to improve your prayer life. To do this, we are going to expose 7 common beliefs and actions which hamper your prayers. You will not be guilty of all of them, but probably a few of them apply to you. It might be challenging to see these exposed initially, but the intimacy and joy in prayer which results once they are out of the way is worth it. Your prayer life will be free to grow uninhibited.
Each devotional identifies a way you can improve your prayer life, a prayer to affirm your new direction, and a memory verse to help solidify the new truth you have received. Do take the memory verse seriously. It is an important part of helping you pray better.
Pray to a God Who Actually Exists.
It was a rainy May Long Weekend and, like most of Manitoban’s between 18-21 on that weekend, I was camping with some friends. It was a miserable weekend of cold and ice.
We were sitting around in the tent bored to tears and in a frustrated attempt to be funny I started to pray. But not to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. No, I appealed to the Egyptian Sun God. I begged Ra to send the sun. I didn’t imagine for a second the sun would come out, and it didn’t. But even if it did, I wouldn’t have converted to ancient Egyptian polytheism because I don’t believe Ra exists.
This appeal to Ra might seem different from your prayers because you believe the Christian God exists whereas I was simply shouting nonsense into the atmosphere you believe you are addressing the one true God. Except. Except the God you imagine yourself talking to might be very different than the one who actually is. What if the ideas and images you have in your head are off? Possibly so off that the God you are praying to hardly looks like the God revealed in Jesus at all.
How are you imagining God? The content of your prayers will tell you.
- Are you bargaining with a shrewd manipulator?
- Are you speaking formally to a detached royal figure?
- Are you carefully editing the cries of your heart to keep from having your honest longings exposed?
- Are you fearful of being rejected or judged?
- Are you wary of revealing the selfish pettiness of your daily concerns?
Or, do you see yourself as having a conversation with someone who is keenly interested in what you have to say, who has traveled a great distance to spend time with you, and would be disappointed if you didn’t show up? Not necessarily disappointed in you, but sad because they were looking forward to spending time with you?
In short, when you are praying, do you see yourself having a conversation with the captivating figure of Jesus we see in the gospels, or do you imagine some lesser version of God?
Because all other versions of God are lesser.
The Son is the exact representation of the Father. If the God you are praying to doesn’t align with what we see in Jesus – then who are you praying too? Possibly a made-up god, and it is hard to feel close to a figment of your imagination.
Holy Spirit, help me to pray to the God who is actually there and not my messed up idea of God. I give you permission Jesus to guide and correct my idea of God.
The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven. -Hebrews 1:3