Something that’s been on my mind lately is prayer. It’s considered basic for every Christian but for a number of reasons, I’ve been rethinking prayer a lot. Currently, I’m trying to trace my journey with regards to the same.
I remember being a young child and joining my mum in her prayer sessions. I’d start nicely and mutter a few words and quickly run out of things to say. I’d be astonished at how my mum would go on and on; what on earth was she even saying for that long? Eventually, I’d start copying her and repeating the same words.
Of course through the years I was taught to always give thanks for food before eating (these days I remember after I’ve already eaten a good portion of the meal). Then we’d have family devotion at night before bedtime where most times we’d fight over who was to pray and my mum, being a person who doesn’t like drama, would end up taking over and praying instead.
I grew up and learnt how not just to do bedtime prayers or praying for food, but personal prayer sessions with God. Like a good number of people, of course for a long time I struggled with having consistent prayer times. When I did have those sessions, lasting 5 minutes would be an achievement.
I went from all that, to finally getting to pray in tongues. This was revolutionary for me because suddenly, my prayers could actually last longer than 5 minutes. I loved how I didn’t have to struggle with what to pray for. This went on for awhile until a certain church leader told me once that I’d started speaking in false tongues. Goodness, I was freaked out! Because of that, I began avoiding anything involving speaking in an unknown language because I was convinced, I’d picked up the wrong thing. Well, it took a lot of time for me to be convinced otherwise.
Then I went through this phase where people around me would all be praying serious spiritual warfare prayers. We’d even be given written out prayers to help with that. Needless to say, that didn’t work out for me. I believed in praying from the heart or spirit; blabbing out words written by someone else and things I didn’t agree with, wasn’t something I was going to do.
So I went from those warfare kind of prayers to a point where I was tired and all I could do was have conversations with God. I loved this; I’d be talking with God most times during the day and of course before I went to bed. I grew in intimacy with God and saw how personal He is. I got to know a beautiful Father-daughter relationship with Him and constant companionship. I’d involve God in the nitty gritty stuff and everything generally. My prayers would mostly be silent ones in my heart.
In that season, I also became more intentional about carving out time to specifically fellowship with God. I’d wake up early enough and have a beautiful session that would include things like worship or praise, reading the word, praying and simply listening to God.
Somehow, the last month or two of 2016, things got busy. I found it harder to set aside that quiet time with God. Before I knew it, days turned to weeks and I still hadn’t gone back to my normal schedule. I’d still do conversations with God as usual but that didn’t feel like an adequate substitute for having set time with God.
Then I started asking myself why I even needed to do those prayer sessions. Didn’t God know the desires of my heart? Doesn’t He repeatedly say and show in His word how nothing can stop His purposes? I needed answers.
After plenty of searching the scriptures and enough teachings on YouTube, I began seeing the significance. God tells us to ask and we’ll receive. He says call unto me and I’ll answer you. Jesus perfectly modelled the same. In fact, the life of Jesus is the ultimate example of how and why we should pray. Even after Jesus resurrected and left disciples, we were still told to pray without ceasing.
So yes, praying is very vital for us. It’s not about informing God; He already is aware of everything. Prayer allows God to mould you in the process. A good example is when you go praying complaining about something and God shows you something in you that needs to change for that thing to stop being an issue. Prayer builds intimacy since you’re inviting God into your situations and listening for His contribution. You get shaped and you grow.
Have a prayerful week, won’t you?