By Rachael Chisulo
Often,several people have asked me how they can be able to pray more.Many say they DO want to pray and they wish they could pray more but they find that they keep spending not more than 10 minutes,or 5 minutes in prayer,and sometimes they cant even pray at all!
I understand that the desire to pray is real,its not that these people are pretending that they wish they could pray more,THEY DO.
But if we have a sincere desire of wanting to spend more time with God,why then do we find ourselves failing? Why do we find that even spending 10 minutes in prayer is a huge mountain to conquer and we find ourselves powerless to even complete 10 minutes of prayer?
As a Christian it is really important that we spend a meaningful amount of time in prayer. Our master Himself spent much time in prayer, fasting 40 days and nights, and often spending the whole night praying, and often rising up very early while it was still dark to pray (Matthew 14:23,Luke 6:12,Mark 1:35).
Jesus came here to be our example,He came to show us the way.
A servant is no greater than the master (John 13:16),therefore if the master prayed so much,the servant too is expected to spend much time in prayer.
Often,the reason we find ourselves still struggling with sin is because we do not spend time in prayer.
From personal experience,I have learnt that the more time you are spending with God,the harder it becomes for you to sin.You can make mistakes sometimes and you repent,but you do not sin deliberately,neither do you continue living in sin.
It becomes harder for you to sin,However when you are living a prayerless life,living a holy life becomes very difficult, and sin seems easier to commit.
As we spend time in God’s presence,He imparts Himself in us,and the more time we are speding with Him in prayer and reading the bible,the more of God we will receive,till our whole lives and every single decision we make are shaped by God and His view.
The opposite is also true;if we are spending very little or no time in prayer and reading the bible,the desires of the flesh will seem so powerful and irresistible.It will seem as though you are under some obligation to gossip,it will seem as though ungodly entertainment is so appealing,in our minds,there will always be an excuse to sin,thinking we will repent later, and sinning again.Sin becomes so hard to overcome.
But despite all the benefits prayer gives to our spiritual journey,many still find it very difficult to do.
The first thing you need to do is to make time,no matter what your schedule is.
If you want to wait for when you are free,satan will ensure you are never free.Something will always come up to keep you busy so that you don’t pray.
Don’t wait till you are done with everything you have to do.Rather, let everything else wait,pray first.
I personally believe you can never be too busy to pray.You just have to make the time,it’s sacrifice.
In order to draw near to God,you must first resist the devil.
“Submit yourselves therefore to God.Resist the devil and he will flee from you.Draw near to God and He will draw near to you…..”James 4:7-8
If you wait for satan to let you go,that’s when you will pray,you will never pray.
You must resist him.When he makes you too busy to pray,resist him and prioritise prayer,while everything else waits.Investing you time in prayer is the most important investment you could make,it’s eternal.
After you have made time,you find that still,satan attacks you with laziness.
As soon as you start praying,you feel like stopping and going to do other things instead.
Satan knows that as long as you are on your knees,his grip on you will be lost,so he discourages you through laziness.
I have been there too.i have had times when prayer seemed so hard to do that the only thing I could do was keep telling God,”Please God help me to pray….God help me to pray” and I couldn’t pray for as long as I normally would.
I thought since I had been telling God to help me to pray,am just suddenly going to feel like praying and all the laziness would just vanish,but God spoke to me.
God told me,”you must resist the devil.Even when you feel like stopping to pray,stay on your knees and keep praying,even when it feels so hard to do,still do it,even when you don’t feel like praying,get on your knees and start praying.satan will only flee from you if you resist him”
That was what the Lord told me.
And so despite me feeling like not praying,I got on my knees and started praying,even when satan was attacking me to make me feel like stopping after praying for a short time,I stayed on my knees and kept praying,asking for God’s help and praying.
After I had resisted satan in that manner,I overcame his laziness and was able to spend quality time in God’s presence reading my bible and praying.
If you feel lazy to pray for long,I assure you this works and will help you get closer to God.Just resist the devil and keep praying and reading the bible regardless of how your body feels,before you know ot you will be spending hours in the presence of God.
I remember how I learnt to pray and read the bible for long.
It seemed like a very difficult task,but Jesus too would pray for long, and I can tell you that it is really beneficial because it is time well spent.
When I just came to the Lord,I was determined to spend much time in prayer, and I would force myself to keep praying with hands lifted up to the Lord,at first even just twenty minutes would be difficult but as I persevered it became my normal prayer routine to spend not less than thirty minutes seeking God,till I was praying an hour,till I was praying an 1 hour 30 minutes,till I would sometimes spend 5 hours praying without noticing it has been that long!
If you train your body to pray no matter what,and to read the bible no matter what,it will become normal to you.But you must know that satan will not flee till you resist him!
If satan fails to keep get you off your knees,he will still try to make you waste that time through distractions.
He knows the power of prayer which is done in truth and spirit and he knows if he lets you do that kind of prayer,he will lose you so he wants to spoil it by all means.
Because he couldn’t prevent you from stayig on your knees,he will attack you with distractions in your mind,so that you pray for one hour with your lips,while your mind is busy thinking about other things!
Sometimes you wont even realize it,you will think you have been spending time with God,and yet you only availed your body,your mind was busy with many other things and that kid of prayer isn’t acceptable to God.
“These people come near me with their mouth and honor me with their lipsbut their hearts are far from Me”Isaiah 29:13
Prayer must come from the heart,each word spoken to God must be meant.
If we say a billion words with our lips,while our heart is elsewhere,a person who says five words coming from their heart is much better to God.
It isn’t about the abundance of words,what God wants is prayer coming from the heart,not long meaningless prayers.
But as you get closer to God you begin to have so much to tell Him,But all prayer must come from the heart.
So you must again resist all distractions from satan.Don’t let him make you waste yur prayer time.Let prayer be done in truth and Spirit.
If you submit yourself to God by availing yourself in prayer and resist satan by making time for prayer,by staying on your knees even when you don’t feel like,and by praying from your heart,resisting all form of distraction,your prayer life will never be the same.
The bible says you must draw near to God first and then He will draw near to you.
God has already told us how we can get close to Him;we must submit to God,resist the devil,then draw near to God and it is guaranteed He will also draw near to us.
Seek the Lord while He can still be found and call on Him while He is still near.