I’m not gonna lie. The reason I began praying heavily is because I was so afraid of returning to the world Jesus saved me from. I never want to go back there—ever.
I continually fight to avoid sliding backward, like a fish swimming upstream, by being intentional about reading the Bible every day, praying and seeking Godly people to spend time with. But, over the years, I’ve found it’s no longer a struggle. I still have to be intentional, particularly when it comes to reading the Bible when my days are so busy. But my prayer has increased to the point that I don’t even realize I’m doing it at times. It’s a habit.
Does excessive prayer seem ridiculous to you? Well … tell me if you think this is a bit much. I pray in the morning with my husband before he goes to work, before my morning Bible study, with my daughter before our devotions when we start the school day, before each meal, with my daughter before she goes to bed at night and again with my husband after reading our devotions at bedtime. Those are just the regularly scheduled prayers. Don’t get me started on what it’s like when I’m at church. Splatter that with random prayers continuously throughout the day, and you get a taste of my prayer life.
There are many reasons why I feel so strongly about prayer:
- Prayer keeps me close to God. Do you have relatives or friends who live far away? Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to stay close if you don’t make an effort to pick up the phone regularly? The next thing you know, they’re all but gone from your mind and the next time you see them, you’re amazed at all you have to catch up on. God is first and foremost on my mind the majority of the day because I’m constantly in communication with Him.
- Prayer keeps me close to my family. When you pray regularly with someone, you get a taste of what is truly in their heart. It gives you new appreciation for them and strengthens the bonds.
- It is difficult to be angry with people you pray for. When I’m hurt, I pray for the person who caused the damage and ask God to help me forgive him or her. Or, if I have already forgiven, I tell Him. It’s amazing how quickly anger fizzles away when confessed and, eventually, forgiven.
- When I’m frustrated and don’t know how to respond to a certain situation, nothing helps like a quick, “God help me. I don’t know what to do.” Even if He doesn’t give me the answer right away, acknowledging my shortcomings and knowing He is there helps me simmer down. Plus, it has the added benefit of staving off a potentially unhealthy immediate reaction.
- Prayer helps me love others … even people I don’t know. There’s something about talking to God on someone else’s behalf that makes me more invested in their well being. I find that I actually care … not bad for someone who, at one point in time, thought all of humanity was a plague upon the earth and should be annihilated.
Those are just a few reasons to pray. If given enough time, I'm sure I could come up with many more. What reasons can you come up with?
God doesn’t always answer my prayers, but He hears them. When I do receive a response, it’s typically in ways I wouldn’t expect. Sometimes the answer is no. That’s okay. I am close to my Father. That is all I need. I will continue to talk to him without ceasing. How about you?