The Discipline of Prayer

Introduction

This week we’re going to look at what you can do to build a better prayer life. We’ll start by looking how to make time for daily prayer.

Bible Reading

Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray. My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up. (Psa 5:2-3)

And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him. And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed. And Simon and they that were with him followed after him. And when they had found him, they said unto him, All men seek for thee. (Mar 1:34-37)

As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.
(Psa 55:16-17)

And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles; (Luk 6:12-13)

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. (Mat 6:6)

A Great While Before Day

Remember, the Lord’s Prayer makes it clear that our we should be praying for daily bread. How do you pray for daily bread if you don’t pray daily? Daily prayer takes discipline. I know you’re busy – most people are. But we also manage to make time for the things we really want to do. We all have the same amount of time in each week, so it’s really a matter of how we choose to use it.

The Psalmist said he would direct his prayer to the Lord in the morning. Jesus was constantly busy, so He had to get up “a great while before day,” to make time for prayer. It’s a great idea to begin your day with the Lord before the world comes knocking at your door. It will take sacrifice to begin each day with prayer.

You might have to get up a little earlier to have time to pray. So, you’ll probably have to go to bed earlier. That, it turn, might mean missing your favorite TV program. How much do you want to have a vibrant prayer life? How much do you care about pleasing God?

Not only did Christ get up early, but He also went to a solitary place alone to pray. He also taught us to go into our closets, close the door, and pray. You might be fortunate enough to have a study, or some other room of your own where you can pray. Maybe you’ll have to claim some public room at home for some time. Maybe you can pray in your car on your 30 minute ride to work. (Turn off the radio, the cell phone, the CD player, but keep your eyes open!) Instead of doing nothing because you can’t do everything you want to do, do what you can.

When Christ got to that solitary place, He did what He came to do – “and there prayed.” Prayer takes focus. Everything under the sun will come to mind when you set out to pray. You have to keep on turning your thoughts back to prayer. It takes practice and discipline. You need to realize that this is spiritual warfare and it will not go unopposed.

Some needs are so important that prayer becomes our highest priority. Fasting is one way to focus on prayer to meet deep needs. Jesus skipped a night’s sleep to pray before He chose His apostles. The decision would influence the world, even today, so Christ bathed the decision in prayer.

What if you can’t work out praying in the morning? Then pray at noon, on your lunch break, or at evening, before you go to bed. Pray is too important for you to decide not to do it. If you’re too busy to pray, you’re too busy – something needs to change.

What About You?

  • Do you take time to pray each day?
  • If not, how will you adjust your life to make time for prayer?
  • Do you need to improve your focus during your prayer time?

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