From Churchmag – link HERE
NOVEMBER 4, 2016
BY ANA AVILA
For most of us, praying is hard. It is not that we don’t have a heart for it; since the Spirit lives in us, we are drown to pour our hearts to the Father, but that doesn’t mean prayer is always smooth and easy.
Our hyper-connected world and hectic lives make very difficult to find a few minutes of peace and quiet, let alone a full hour. As impossible as it may seem, we must do it. We simply must. Just as if we don’t make time to feed our bodies we’d die, neglecting spiritual nutrition is fatal. Doing it means we think can thrive with out clinging on to Jesus every day. We live a lie.
I knew I had to be intentional and make my prayer life a priority. I tried everything: lists, apps, and then with no aids at all. Nothing seemed to work, not for more than a few days. And then my sister gave me a beautiful pocket notebook for Christmas.
I decided I would write my prayers down. Whether I was in bed just before going to sleep or at the barber shop waiting for my husband, I wrote and wrote, opening my heart to God. Soon it became almost as natural as breathing. If a thing to pray about popped in my head while I was working at a coffee shop, I could open my notebook and soon the world around me would just banish. Even when I forgot my notebook, I could grab a napkin or receipt where I could scribble on.
Tools, Not Needs
As amazing as writing my prayers was, I had to learn I didn’t need my notebook to pray. Of course, it was just a tool. Sometimes, when I suddenly felt an urge to pray and found nothing to write on, I had a mini freak out inside of me. Fortunately, the Spirit made me soon remember that pen and paper are only tools. God is always there to listen, I just need to turn my thoughts or voice to Him.
I think I have now found a good balance between thinking, writing, and speaking my prayers. Pen and paper just gave me the grip I needed to stop my mind from wandering and just focus on God.
Just as apps and lists didn’t work for me, written prayers might not work for you. That’s not the point. The thing is we need to understand our necessity to pray. We need to see ourselves how we really are: helpless apart from God. We must be intentional about prayer. Don’t give up on finding the tools that help you disconnect from this world and have communion with Jesus.
It isn’t something we can leave for tomorrow.