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We may be certain that whatever God has made prominent in his Word, he intended to be conspicuous in our lives. If he has said much about prayer, it is because he knows we have much need of it. . . . A prayerless soul is a Christless soul.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Morning and Evening (2 January, Morning)

My prayer habits are feeble and atrophied. I'm not focused or disciplined, and there are many instances when prayer should be my first response, yet it doesn't occur to me. It's easier to talk or write about than to do, and I more readily pray with others than on my own. That's just an honest inventory, not a discouragement. Since prayer is where God meets me, any strength I have that's not derived from Him is hardly relevant anyway. My part is simply to place myself in His path, hopefully deeper and deeper, and more and more frequently. Let His Spirit grow me, form Christ in me, renew my heart and mind, groan the prayers I cannot even utter. To pray is not only to strive, but also to yield.


Did you see these are all online? You have to love techology.
I'm using a different online source (linked above) for the same stuff. Probably 80-90% of my devotional reading is done online, because I'm such a huge geek.
I'm reading Morning and Evening this year—I also read that passage this morning, and it resulted in a similar conviction.
It always feels a bit strange to be encouraged and convicted all at once, but I think true conviction from the Holy Spirit often works that way.



I think we shouldn't muster focus or discipline in our prayers, but instead pray sincerely, out of need and desire.

When my prayer life is lacking I think it just means that I don't feel I need God.


Re: prayer

The second point (which I totally agree with) is the very reason I need discipline. But at this point in my life, the discipline I'm choosing is the discipline of showing up in God's presence. Sometimes my scatteredness or the silences are awkward, but I need to be putting myself in His path anyway. Sometimes it could even be more listening for His voice than speaking to Him (an idea that's honestly very foreign to most of us today, but was probably essential to Christ's time in prayer to His Father), or just praising Him (ditto).

It isn't a discipline of form (though I'd never fault anyone for that, and sometimes forms help me, too) but of time and space—leaving something open in my life for Him to fill. When I don't, I do tend to feel I don't need God, until I get desperate and wonder where He went.

P.S. When I wrote "praising Him," I almost deleted it, because present-day forms of this can be so cheesy, churchy, and grotesque. I'm thinking of a more robust form of praise that comes from a deep knowledge of my need and a hopefully deepening knowledge of His glory (like we see in the Psalms). That's also part of a good relationship: if I only came to barlow_girl with a to-do list and never listened to her or told her how I love her, our relationship would be pretty stunted.