As ordinary people, we can face overwhelming circumstances on a daily basis. We can get coffee in the morning to help get us going again after a short night of sleep the night before, but coffee can’t handle the temptation, discouragement, and hard times that can come on a day after day basis at times.
That is where prayer comes in. As believers, we have the Creator of the Universe inside of us in the form of the Holy Spirit. We don’t have to go through this world alone. We can have help along the way through a relationship with God. To have a relationship with God though, it means that we need to spend time talking to Him and getting to know Him better. The way we talk to God is through prayer. That means that to have a growing relationship with God we should be praying on a daily basis.
There was a time in my life when the only time I prayed was in church once a week. Then I got to the point where I learned to talk to God through prayer at least once a day. Now I am at the point that I talk to Him multiple times each and every day. This progression has made life so much more bearable for me. I couldn’t even imagine trying to get through a hard day alone anymore. Without God’s help and guidance, I think I would find life and it’s cruel circumstances almost too much to bear.
I have found that the key to regular and consistent prayer is to incorporate prayer into your daily routines. Find things you do each and every day and find ways to pray during those times. That way it just becomes a regular routine and does not take extra time out of your schedule. I have had a lot of success with setting up my individual prayer time with God each day through some of my daily routines such as getting out of bed, showering, driving to work, meals, driving home from work, going to bed. Individual time praying with God is important so we can get to know Him better and grow closer to Him on a one on one basis.
The part of prayer that I tend to struggle with is communal prayer. I just get uncomfortable when it comes to praying as a group. It is my least favorite part of the small groups I am a part of. Part of the problem is that I am not real good with remembering names and if it is a large group of people praying and I don’t know everyone really well, I am afraid to pray for someone out loud because I am afraid I will forget their name. Another problem for me is that I am much more comfortable praying silently to myself. I am not afraid to speak in front of people, but praying in front of people is a whole other matter for me. I am just not very comfortable with it. I tend to be more of a private person when it comes to my faith and public/community prayer doesn’t come very naturally to me.
Praying together is a very important part of talking to God. Even though I am not as comfortable with public prayer, it is something that I am working to get better at because I understand that it is critical for my relationship with God to continue to develop. For that reason, I have been looking into the importance of communal prayer and why it is so important. I will be discussing what I have learned in Part 2 of this blog series. In Part 3 of this blog series, I will be discussing some of the blessings of God-given to the church and the things we must do as believers to receive these blessings fully. I have also come up with some practical ways I can do a better job of incorporating communal prayer into my daily rhythms like I have done with my private prayer. I will be discussing those ideas in Part 4 of this blog series.
Stay with me on this and we can discover how we can become better at communal praying.