The Discipline of Prayer

Someone I admire once told me that I was not a disciplined person.  This person, I might add, is extremely disciplined.  He rises every morning to the sun; begins the day with quiet prayer or meditation, jogs at least five miles, returns home to a “healthy” breakfast, showers, then finally, as he puts it, “pushes into his day.”  Needless to say, this comment coming from someone I admired and who was so clearly structured and organized, moved me to consider my lack of self-discipline.

I have been a Christian and a minister for some time, but it was not until my friend admonished me about my undisciplined lifestyle that I attempted to better order my days.  As a full-time pastor and seminarian when the demands on my schedule actually were relentless and clearly there was no order to the chaos.  I seemed to find time for everything and everyone but myself.  But then came the “aha” moment.  It was time to become a better steward of my time and of my self.  I needed productivity through a discipline that recognized my limits.  I recalled what my grandmother said to me when I first went into ministry, she said, “always pray because prayer changes things.”  I had always known that, but somehow the reality got lost among the clutter of less important thoughts.  So, with a fresh determination, I began to reorder my days with a new emphasis on prayer.

Praying is not new to me, in fact, it has always been part of my life.  I believe it is the key to all other spiritual disciplines and I have discovered when spiritual things are given their proper consideration in our lives, a natural sense of prioritization follows and everything else just seems to fall into place.

The Discipline of Prayer

I now intentionally begin and end each day with prayer and before attempting any important task, I pray for wisdom and guidance, and upon each task’s completion I utter a prayer of thanksgiving.  I pray again everyday, all day, and everywhere.  It comes as naturally to me as the air I breathe.  It is never formal or structured.  It is simply my communicating sincerely with God and allowing God to speak to me.  This daily regimen of prayer is strengthening my spiritual muscles, lessening my anxieties, and renewing my mind.

Why not get your spirit in the gym and exercise your faith through prayer–it truly does change things.  I totally agree with  Author, Jewel Diamond Taylor, “If you’re too busy for God, you are simply too busy.”

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  1. #1 by imjacobs on March 1, 2011 - 6:48 PM

    I enjoyed your post on The Discripline of Prayer. You made it clear that we should wake up thanking God for a new day. Also, you made it clear that we pray any time and any place. Our prayer can be “thank you God”. God do not require long prayer but He enjoys our sincere prayers and press Him for things that you Him to bless you.

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