This is the third post in our Good Habits series, which challenges a Christian to establish three spiritual disciplines in their lives.
Habits are often thought of in a negative sense but there are certain disciplines which add value to our lives. This is especially true in the life of a Christian. Although there are several good habits for a follower of Christ to establish, we are looking at three of them. In the last post of this series we examined the necessity of reading the Bible since it has the power to transform us. There are a lot of voices speaking to us each day – friends, media, our feelings – so we must fight to give God a chance to speak. God uses the reading of His word to be that voice; however, it is necessary that the reading of the Bible be combined with an obedient response or it is rendered ineffective.
Today we will be discussing prayer, which is another good habit closely related to Bible reading. While reading the Bible can be understood as listening to the voice of God, prayer can be understood as God listening to my voice. Prayer is a moment in time when God is my audience. Because there is no special “formula” found in Scripture concerning prayer, I believe the words we pray must come from a genuine expression of praise, repentance, submission, or desperation. When I receive good in my life, I verbally acknowledge that all good things come from Him (James 1:17). If I have sinned, I verbally admit my wrongdoing to God and ask for His forgiveness (1 John 1:9). When an opportunity enters my life, I verbally submit to do what would best reflect the heart of God (Psalm 40:8). If I am overwhelmed by circumstances, I verbally confess my need for His help (Philippians 4:6-7). God will hear these prayers.
Ultimately, prayer is an admission that I need God in my life. Without Him, I can do nothing of lasting value.
How often or how long should we pray? There is no right answer to that question; in fact, it is probably a wrong question. Every moment should be done in prayer. My heart should always be communing with God – at work, at home, in recreation, in conversations with friends. Prayer should never be far from my lips.