The alarm clock goes off and your eyes open. You can’t believe it’s time to get up already and you feel as though you haven’t gotten any sleep. You get up, turn the buzzer off and decide you’ll lay down for just a few more minutes. You eventually wake up with just enough time to get dressed and head out the door so you won’t be late. Feelings of guilt and disgust permeate your mind. You just missed your prayer time again. There’s no telling what awaits you today, and you couldn’t resist the temptation to go back to sleep. This isn’t the first time, and unfortunately, probably won’t be the last. “What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I show any discipline in my prayer life? I know better.”
You’re not the first believer who’s had these feelings about their prayer life or lack thereof. Let me ask you a question, “Has the guilt itself ever moved you to action to correct the situation? If it has, I bet it was a short lived solution. No one wants you to spend time with them because you feel guilty about not doing it, even if they tried to make you feel that way. That not a relationship, that’s coercion, and that’s not God’s way.
Saints, it is the goodness of the Lord that leads to repentance (Romans 2:4). The time you spent driving to work feeling guilty could have been time spent in prayer and thanksgiving. The Bible says men ought always pray and not faint or lose heart. Satan knows that if he can paralyze your thought pattern with feelings of inadequacy, you probably won’t pray at all and you won’t have access to the answers you need. God certainly won’t force His agenda on anyone, so it is imperative that we make ourselves available to Him at all times, at all costs.
What do do do when you have a flat tire? Do you just stare at it and hope it gets better? No, you either change it yourself or get someone to help you change it. Do whatever it takes to “jack up” your prayer life. Everyone is different, so prayerfully develop a plan that works for you. If what you have been doing hasn’t worked, change it. Don’t get so stuck on regiment that you exclude relationship altogether. Then prayer just becomes an ineffective task. Keep working on it until it becomes as consistent as breathing. I recall reading once about a man who developed a disciplined plan for himself. He really enjoyed eating breakfast, so if He missed His Bible time in the morning, He wouldn’t eat that meal. He simply called it “No Bible, No Breakfast”. That worked for him. If a consistent, effective, prayer life was impossible, God wouldn’t have asked us to do it. Stop beating yourself up. Kicking the car has never changed a flat tire. However, the appropriate action will get you on the road again.
© Fredrick F. Nicholson all rights reserved