Prayer

Read: Acts 1:12-14

All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer. (v. 14)

I was lying on an emergency room gurney. I thought I was having a heart attack. When the doctor came in, he asked, "Are you trying to do it all yourself?" After numerous tests he concluded my symptoms were caused by stress. I really was acting in my own power in my pastoral ministry—trying to do it all myself.

I needed to establish a regular practice of prayer through which I received direction and strength from Christ. I decided to add an early morning prayer time as well as daily devotions with my wife. Prayer became part of every day's schedule. It changed my life. My awareness of God's presence grew, my attention to what God was doing increased. My stress level dropped.

When we pray we enter a relationship with God, one that can become deep and close. Then our service of God flows from that relationship, rather than merely from our own effort. Prayer as conversation with God has at least three dimensions: listening to God, speaking to God, and silent communion with God.

My hope is that as I write about prayer, you will actually be praying more each day. I pray that you will be nudged by the Spirit to put in the time and effort needed to deepen your practice of prayer.

Prayer: Guide us, O God, in the daily practice of prayer. Amen.

Used with Permission