May 20, 2012

Four Enemies of Prayer

“Far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray” - 1 Samuel 12:23

There are times when it is easy to pray and there are times in all of our lives when we cannot make ourselves pray, no matter how bad we may want to or try.

When I find it hardest to show up to spend time with God, I’m usually battling one of the four enemies of prayer.

1. Noise

Mother Teresa said

“God speaks in the silence of the heart.”

From iPods to iPhones we are inundated with noise.

It is difficult to hear God’s “still small voice” in our noisy lives. While this doesn’t mean that we must adopt the lifestyle of a monk, we might consider seeking out times during our day where we can be with God in silence.

2. Busy Schedules

When we are in “busy” mode, we are usually in productive and efficient mode.

Prayer is neither.

It is a relationship.

And when our schedules get tight, prayer is usually the first thing to go. When we make prayer our highest priority, we may not get as many things done, but we are more likely to get the right things done.

Besides all this, won’t you have a relationship with someone who created you, who loves you immensely and gave his life for you?

Just think about it!

3. Being in a Hurry

The first cousin of Busy Schedules is being in hurry.

When we are busy we often try to move faster.

It’s difficult to have a meaningful conversation when we’re preoccupied with the next thing on our “to do” list. God wants to converse with us on the deepest levels. When we slow down long enough we are more likely to hear God’s “Standing Invitation” to intimacy.

4. Past Hurts

We often underestimate the power of broken relationships, abuse, loss, grief, illness and disappointment.

Slowing down enables us to quiet our hearts and gives the pain a chance to capture our attention. No one likes to hurt, and so we avoid, often unconsciously, memories of past hurts which bring that pain into our present moment.

Prayer is the safest of places to bring our hurts, wounds and disappointments.

It is a place where the Lord seeks to reaffirm his love for us and lead us through the process of healing and forgiveness.

May the sweet communion of the Holy Spirit lead you in all walks of life. Be sensitive to His presence!

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