It's currently winter in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. As the temperatures fluctuate, so does the air pressure in my car tires. Yes, I saw the sensor light come on and, of course, I kept driving. I planned to take care of it as soon as I got home.
Well, the next day, when I was getting in my car to go to work at New Covenant Bible Church, I remembered: Ugh! I need to fill my tires. I plugged in my portable pump and soon all my tires were filled and I was ready for the day.
The discipline of prayer is like that for me. I know I need to plug into God. I know I need to be filled with Him so that I can be ready for the journey, just like my tires are now. And I know there are tangible benefits to prayer. So why doesn’t it come more naturally? Why is it so easy to put off?
One thing I've discovered is that having a time and a plan greatly helps me. I just have to take this rhythm/practice one day at a time and be intentional. It’s about progress, not perfection, but carrying out a routine helps me achieve my goals. We're exploring all of this together in our current sermon series at church, called Rhythms. (Check out the Rhythms study guide if you haven't yet -- it's full of resources to help you with disciplines like prayer, meditation, and more.)
One plan that is working for me is called “Ongoing Conversation.” I know something happens when I consistently posture my heart toward God throughout the day. Talking to Him becomes a rhythm of living.
For example, as I walk into a meeting, I ask God for His leading and His words; when needing to make a decision, I ask the Lord for His guidance; in a hard conversation, I ask the Lord to give me the patience to listen to understand… not to listen to respond.
I discovered it is a joy to have an ongoing conversation with Him throughout the day. Prayer is very relational. He longs to be in relationship with us.
So try it! Intentionally plan to invite God into every part of your entire day. Talk to Him about whatever crosses your path. Practice listening for His response. Let me know what you discover.