Consistency in Prayer
Consistency in prayer will only be realized when we are intentional in conversation with God. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:6-7 (emphasis mine) This may seem obvious, but a lot of believers figure that since God already knows what they’re anxious about, why bother making requests? A key principle here is that God desires for us to interact with His heart. When we go from just thinking about our prayers, to verbalizing them, we establish a beneficial connection. Oftentimes, I also understand myself better, as I hear myself speak.
Consistency in prayer has been the single most important factor in my personal and married life. I have routinely modified what I do for my “quiet time”, which I think is probably normal for most of us. God loves for us to discover new avenues by which we encounter Him. I advise people to be led by the Spirit; develop their own style, and by God’s grace, continue steadfast.
It almost sounds too simple. I make my requests known; I leave with the peace of God. Well, we should also include one more verse from the Philippians passage: “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report…meditate on these things.” Phil. 4:8 Other Bible translations say, “think on these things.” The literal meaning of the Greek word translated “meditate”, or “think”, is: to take an inventory. Every business will periodically take stock of its assets. They may close for a day or two, to do inventory. The goal is to have an accurate record of its product. For us, we need to take inventory on a daily basis! We need to have an accurate picture of how we are thinking and believing. The end result: we will retain our peace for longer periods of time.
One challenge to consistency in prayer, are seasons of waiting. God has promised to answer prayer, but there is a variance in the timing of His response. “The Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!” Isa. 30: 18-19 I read this quote by Oswald Chambers years ago: What we call the process God calls the end. Ultimately, what God desires, is that my passion for Him becomes my motivation. My natural tendency is to see my relationship with God as a means to an end; the end being, my needs are met. But what if intimacy with God became my greatest “need.”? If that be the case, then the entire process of seeking Him becomes its own reward!
Another challenge to consistency in prayer, is weariness. “Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Gal. 6:8-9 “At the proper time.” There’s that issue of timing again. In addition, there is a variance in the “types” of harvest that we receive. Growing in faith and patience is a harvest all it’s own, while we may only be watching the horizon for the answer that brings relief to our burden.
Every occasion of overcoming weariness, becomes a link in the chain of consistency in prayer.