I’m reading Andrew Murray’s book, The Ministry of Intercession, and I find myself so inspired and renewed in my prayer life. I love how Murray sets up scenarios of very busy people who deeply want to pray but who find they somehow cannot. In one account, he writes, “It was as if everything conspired to keep him from prayer.”
So many things conspire to keep us from prayer, but I think the one thing most keeping us from prayer isn’t busyness or distractions or anything else like this. It’s our mindset and belief about what prayer is.
Prayer is communion with God. I’m no expert here. But I’m learning.
Much like how evangelism isn’t about doing something for God but with God, prayer is being with God, flowing from our identity in Christ who is ever-interceding before the Father. We’re joining into something already happening. What is prayer doing? What’s happening when I pray? God is listening. God is answering. God is speaking.
When I coach writers in my consulting role, I often spent a significant amount of time shifting a writer’s mindset. Writers who can’t find time to write or cannot finish their manuscript often see writing as a luxury, a hobby, something extraneous to their real, other work, or even something they aren’t worthy of or qualified for. I’ll say over and over: You are writer. Writers write. I think it’s like this with how we think about prayer.
Moving deeper into the mindset shifts, we often talk about writing as worship, writing as soul-nourishment, and writing as a spiritual practice. That’s a profoundly different attitude from writing as a task. When someone asks, “Well, then, how do you find the time to write?” I laugh and say, “How do you find the time to eat?” We do the thing we need to survive. The vital thing. The thing our souls most need. The thing we want. We’ll stop everything to eat. But to write?
But to pray?