The idea of prayer reminds me of Jesus’ words about the Father in Heaven who knows what we need before we even ask, and He’s waiting for us to ask. He’s a dad wanting to talk to His kids, wanting to hear their heart – and there’s something important to that. Not only are things accomplished through us simply by asking through prayer, but it’s communication. It’s not just about what we say, but what we hear. Sometimes we dive into what we have to say rather than listen. A lot of prayer time should start with a moment of silence or reading of Scripture – letting that steer your thoughts.
As we’re reminded today of the power and effectiveness of prayer, here are three practices to help you focus, lean into the Holy Spirit and hear what God has to say to you.
1. Be still. Even if it’s just for a moment, take a minute and settle your heart and mind. There are so many things calling for your attention. I’ve found it helps to read over a passage of Scripture to get your mind focused on what He has to say to you.
2. Give yourself grace. Sometimes we get discouraged because we get distracted. Even in those moments, give yourself some grace and keep going. Sometimes the struggle becomes part of the powerful prayer moments that can happen between you and God.
3. Recognize your opportunities. Seeking isolation for prayer can be good practice – we see Jesus going out alone in the Bible a number of times – but sometimes you just have to look around for opportunities. It can be a commute to work or when you let your dog outside as the sun is coming up. Just a few uninterrupted minutes with the Lord can be powerful.
The National Day of Prayer is a focus on what we as Kingdom workers should be doing every day. It’s a concerted effort for us as believers to go to the throne and ask the Lord to be glorified in our lives and in the world. It’s beneficial for us to recognize that we could do this all the time. This day is a great chance for us to come together and focus on the importance of prayer, its solidarity and the impact it has.
Nate Karnes is a MOVE program director for Christ In Youth. His email is email@example.com.