Prayer-for-the-Sick: Enjoying Prayer? (1)

Do you like to pray? Do you look forward to it? Do you desire to pray longer than you do? Perhaps you are wondering, “Why so many questions about prayer?” I came across 22 Questions the members of John Wesley’s Holy Club would ask themselves daily in their private devotions. Am I enjoying prayer? is one of them. It caused me to start examining my current inclinations. I do observe daily morning devotions that include study and worship. But prayer – that sustained two-way communion between the Lord and myself? Something is different. I set out to discover what anybody else might have to share, and I found Scott Chapman’s How I came to really enjoy prayer. His pivotal prayer time is at night with his wife and kids. Here’s an excerpt from his former blog:
In the past, I prayed primarily because I felt I should – because it was what God wanted me to do. Mostly, I prayed out of a sense of obedience and Christian duty and as a result, my prayer times were often fine, but not much more. I certainly wouldn’t describe them as joy-filled experiences. Some time ago, however, I came across a passage of Scripture that changed the way I experienced God in prayer. Since then, I have found that stepping away from the busyness of life to catch a few quiet minutes with God is one of the best parts of my day. Crazy as it may seem, I now really love to pray. The passage that had such a transforming effect on my prayer life was the words of Jesus in Matthew 11.28-30. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” This is an amazing passage and there is an awful lot that can be said about it. With regard to prayer, however, I discovered three truths that profoundly affected the way I interact with God. #1 : There is joy in being close to God. . . . #2: There is joy in giving our burdens to God. . . . #3: There is joy in joining our lives to God. . . .
Scott closes his post with some questions, and this one seems easier to answer:  What makes your time with God so good? Next, I found an article by Richard J. Foster from Discipleship Journal – 5 Misconceptions That Hinder Prayer. The misconceptions that keep us from enjoying prayer as a love relationship with God are:
  • Prayer means talking.
  • Prayer cannot be learned.
  • Prayer is complicated.
  • Prayer is grim duty.
  • God is remote and inaccessible.
Then the key for me appeared in a quote by Nicola Carleton: “We can relate to God interactively and creatively, not just with spoken words. The expressions of our hearts can take on spontaneous forms.”

House of Prayer

To be continued. . .