2 Comforts for Those Discouraged with Prayer
Practice and Discipline
It's probably the case that there's hardly any Christian who hasn't been discouraged with their prayer life. I know there have been lots of times that I wish I were praying better or that my prayer life felt richer or I was more consistent with it. You're not alone. Most people in the history of the church have wished that they prayed better.
In fact, maybe it's one of the reasons that God wants us to pray, because it is so humbling to try to pray. And we do so in faltering steps at times. If you're feeling really discouraged about your prayer life, remember that it is a discipline. We'd like to think that we just wake up in the morning and we're so excited to pray, but there's a reason it's called a spiritual discipline. It does take some act of the will.
The Lord's Prayer
In The Lord’s Prayer, Kevin DeYoung closely examines God’s model for prayer, giving readers a deeper understanding of its content and meaning, and how it works in the lives of God’s people.
And as a discipline, that means there are going to be times where it doesn't feel like much. Just take the discipline of running or exercising. You don't often jump out of bed and always feel like you want to do it, but you keep doing it. And even though the individual day or activity may not feel like much, there's a cumulative effect that you are growing. It’s the same way with prayer. You are growing and exercising those spiritual muscles, and God is changing you—often imperceptibly—even when it may not feel like it.
So keep doing it. Oftentimes, those experiences of feeling like This was an amazing prayer time today will come, and oftentimes they will go, but you keep up with the discipline of it. And God honors that and is pleased with that. And he understands that even in our fumbling attempts at prayer—because of Jesus—he still hears us.
Kevin DeYoung is the author of The Lord’s Prayer: Learning from Jesus on What, Why, and How to Pray.
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A simple definition is to think of the kingdom of God as his reign and rule. Another way to think of the kingdom is as God’s redemptive presence coming down from heaven to earth.
The Lord’s Prayer Reignites Our Desire to Want to Pray
Jesus doesn’t give us an impossibly high standard of prayer. It's lofty, and none of us will do it perfectly, but he's giving us something that we can do.
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If you want to be happy in the church (or simply not give up on the church), you need to learn forgiveness. You need to grant it, and you need to receive it.
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To pray with intimacy to God as father is not a human right; it is a spiritual privilege. It is a privilege for the people of God who have been born again by the Spirit of God.