You do not have, because you do not ask.

James 4:2b 

 Yet you did not call upon me, O Jacob; but you have been weary of me, O Israel!

Isaiah 40:22

 Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.

Jeremiah 33:3

These past few weeks I have been greatly challenged in my prayer life. It began with my husband encouraging me to read R.A. Torrey‘s “How to Pray”, about a month or so ago. It has only taken me until this week to get around to actually picking it up.

Prayer is something that we often turn to as a “last resort”, when it should rather be our first resort! Whether we are burdened for family members who are not saved or deceived, in oppressing or uncertain situations, without a job, in need of the fruit of the Spirit, love and grace, or suffering affliction – our first response should be to pray.

I know that this is something I have struggled with in the past. Specifically persistent prayer. When I would feel a need or desire to pray arise, I would come to God in prayer, earnestly seeking him. But it was usually when a situation became desperate, and not often enough in advance.

Scripture tells us to pray without ceasing – but I would struggle through once or twice, then put it on the “back-burner” until I thought of it again. Daniel prayed for 21 days straight – then received an answer. Sometimes we think “He heard me the first time, he knows my desire, he doesn’t need to hear it again.” But I believe that thinking is wrong!

R.A. Torrey says that persistent prayer is of the utmost importance, because there is a devil out there who is cunning and never rests. “If the child of God relaxes in prayer, the devil will succeed in ensnaring him.”  Ephesians 6:13-17 talks about putting on the whole armour of God, coming to a climax in verse 18, where Paul tells us that we are to be “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication”.

Hmm, I never really saw it that way before. The devil never ceases to pester and try us – and even though he often uses the same methods as before, we tend to stumble and fall once again.

But there is a promise for us, and someone who will fight for us! We need only to call to him, and he will answer. When we pray we receive the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13) and a desire for more. This has finally seemed to click in my life! Over the weekend I came to a point of finally, only just beginning to understand the importance and need for persistent prayer – while I’ve always known it is important to pray, I haven’t really had the tools or desire to make it past a couple of days at a time.

praying by sisterlisa, on Pix-O-Sphere

So now, I set aside a time in the morning, FIRST THING, before I get distracted by ANYTHING else, to pray. And I’ve already noticed a major change in my attitude throughout the day and my ability to deal with situations that come my way.

The more you pray, the more you receive the Holy Spirit, joy, thanksgiving, and so much more – and the more you are empowered to pray – it just keeps on going from there! So if you are in a dry season of prayer in your life, or you are not sure how to pray, start by making the time every morning to spend specifically praying for a desire to pray and for the Holy Spirit to change your heart toward it. I would highly recommend reading R.A. Torrey’s books “How to Pray” (the link above is a free download) to aid in changing your thinking and heart toward prayer.

Praying for you as you embark on this journey into the blessing of a consistent prayer life!

Mustard Seeds

Linking up to Women in the Word, Women Living Well and Mustard Seed Planting.