God, help us pray!

Blog by Sean DeSouza, a champion for prayer, mission and justice in Montreal.

My prayer life has changed drastically since I came to faith. Upon my conversion, my prayer life was practically non-existent, often struggling through 5 minute prayers, not being able to sit still for more than a breath. Over time I knew something needed to change in this area. So I prayed – sounds a little too easy after telling you my painful experiences, doesn’t it? But it was a simple prayer & one from my heart…that God would give me a burden & desire to pray. And you know what they say – be careful what you ask for.

So soon after I prayed that prayer, this increased passion for prayer starting developing in my heart supernaturally. And since then my prayer life learnt to take on many forms, whether I am at home praying out loud with family, praying in my head while on the road, at the gym, throughout my office for the people that occupy the cubicles, or helping to set up spaces where my church family can intentionally set time aside to pray as a community, etc… I can go on & on about the various… … forms our prayer lives can take on. There are countless of ways we can participate in and approach praying.

With that said, there are times when I can clearly reflect on issues or needs in my life, or requests from others, and be focused & intentional in my prayer life. But then there are still other times when I am at a loss for words, not knowing where to begin, being unmotivated to engage in prayer at all, or I become caught up in a routine of running around as if I had more than 24 hours in a day yet can’t fit in some much needed alone time with God.

When I find I am stuck in a season of prayerlessness, I have found it helpful to read small portions of Scripture and turn that passage into a prayer. The Psalms and Proverbs are great for this! But most verses/passages can be easily translated into a prayer also. Another alternative is listening to a worship song, one that may relate to my emotional state that day, and meditating on the lyrics of the song – making those words my prayers.

Whatever season you find yourself in – a season of prayerfulness or prayerlessness – the body of Christ followers are called to be relentless in their communication with God & supplications to Him (1 Thessalonians 5:17, Ephesians 6:18). On this side of the planet, we have such freedom to express our faith openly. We should be thankful for this and humbly seize this privilege to petition before the God of heaven & earth knowing that He longs to hear from His people for any & every thing, no matter how great or small the request might seem to us (1 Peter 5:7). Or just simply to say thank You.

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