I think that everyone who walks with the Lord wants to know how to better communicate with Him -- how to pray. In fact, I have found no Christian, maturing in the faith, who does not want a better prayer life and to improve that communication.
I still have an intense desire to know how to pray more effectively and to spend time with God. That desire has not lessened; to the contrary, it has increased.
I can remember when people would say, "Well, if you'll just spend ten minutes in prayer ..." and I used to think, ten minutes in prayer! That's forever! What would I say to God for ten minutes? I'd run out in two minutes.
That was my concept of spending time in prayer. But as the time has moved along, I find that ten minutes is hardly an introduction. Prayer is a wonderful privilege for every child of God.
I'm afraid sometimes our prayers are like that little boy, Alexander, in Raleigh, N.C., who wrote to his pastor and said, "Dear Pastor, pray for our Little League team. We either need help from God or a new pitcher!"
A lot of us are like that in our prayer lives, only reaching out to God in desperate times. One man said that unless you're walking in adventure, you don't really need to pursue the matter of prayer. But if you believe that your God is a God of adventure, and your pilgrimage is one of faith, then prayer is very important to all of us.
You don't want to be like the man whose lifestyle was so bad that when he got up every morning, he searched the newspaper for the obituary column to see if his name was there. If it wasn't, he went back to bed. His life was Dullsville -- no adventure, no challenge. This could describe a lot of Christians who have no challenge to their faith, therefore there is not much prayer in their lives.
I am convinced that if you want to see God doing something in your life, in your neighbor's life, in your business, church or family life, prayer is the Number One Item on the agenda.
There are four ways in which your prayer life could be improved. This is not all there is to it, of course. You can go to prayer seminars, schools, etc. But the basic and best way to learn about prayer is to begin doing it, and I'd like to give you four words that may be helpful to you.I. Pray Regularly
Pray consistently. Let there be a stated time when you meet with God. If you only prayed when you felt like it, it would not be often. The devil would see to it that your feelings didn't prompt you; therefore, there should be a consistent, stated time.
Have you ever known a great athlete who practiced only when he felt like it? How would you like to be coaching a team that said, "Hey, Coach, we'll be at the game Saturday, but we're not going to practice unless we feel like it." There's not an athletic team in the world that would accept a player like that.
A great pianist doesn't achieve success by practicing only when he feels like it. A runner doesn't become great because he practices only when he feels like it. Neither does a Christian become a prayer warrior if he only prays when he feels like it. There should be a stated time to meet with God.