My nightly prayers have become a ritual. I have had years of practice. I usually start off with my childish, “As I Lay Me Down to Sleep” poem mostly out of habit; then go into something with a little more theological pomp, usually “The Lord’s Prayer”. Next, I go through a daily list of things to thank God for: thank you for my husband, thank you for my baby, thank you for my family, thank you for MAF, thank you, thank you, thank you, etc. And last is the good part, where I begin my list of prayer requests – be with me God, guide so and so, watch over such and such, give my friend strength, etc. But lately, I feel a lacking in my quality time with God. Sure, I give God thanksgiving. I am truly grateful for who and what I have in my life. Yes, I confess certain things that have been on my heart and ask God for forgiveness. And I definitely spend a lot in supplication! But what about adoration, praise, honor, and affection? I have to say 99.9% of my prayers lately are full of “requests.”
When I first truly understood what it meant to be a Christian, I never asked God for anything. When most people said the word “pray” they were using the word “need” synonymously and avoided the whole part about praise. I did not want to be “that” person who simply “used” God as a big cosmic Santa Clause. It took years and a lesson about the Prayer of Jabez before I understood that it was OK to ask God for help. That is what is so special about our relationship with God. What kind of relationship do I have with the maker of the universe that I didn't feel comfortable asking him help – do I not trust Him to help me or that He would even care when I ask?
But over the years, I feel my prayer life has turned from 99.9% adoration to 99.9% requests. I feel so guilty about my prayers! I have been focusing on what He does and not who He is! I have not been focusing on God! There are multiple parts to prayer, so why am I only doing half of them? No, I am not saying I am going to stop praying. And no, I am not going to stop my prayer requests and supplication. What I am doing is I am vowing to praise God more, which also means spending more time in prayer (Good thing!).
Why have I gotten lazy in my prayer life when we have such great examples of prayer in the book of Psalms? I have my instruction manual; I just need to apply it!
Do you have a part of your prayer life that you feel you need to work on?