Items For Praise And Prayer
By Lois J. Stucky
“It is hard to pray alone,” is a comment I have heard several times recently. I agree. Real praying is no easy thing to do. The flesh is weak. The enemy is strong. It takes more spiritual strength than many of us have to press through to and to sustain a time of effectual praying when alone.
It is a help to pray with others. Almost any work is made easier when two or more unite to undertake it. This is very true of prayer. You gather for a specific purpose and are thereby helped to keep focused on praying. Your heart is kindled as you hear others pray. Your faith is quickened by the expressed faith of others. Fresh thoughts come to your mind as others voice their petitions.
Still, we must also take time for solitary praying. Otherwise we may come to depend too much on others. It is the Holy Spirit we must depend upon for effectual prayer. When we are closeted by ourselves in prayer, we may feel alone but actually we have the best prayer partner we could possibly have. The Holy Spirit is our helper in prayer as we depend upon Him.
A good way to begin a time of prayer is to wait in silence, acknowledging our need of His help and presenting ourselves to Him to be a partner with Him in prayer. He must have the ascendancy. It takes our best effort, but it is the Holy Spirit inspiring, guiding and empowering that makes prayer effectual.
We can picture ourselves kneeling alongside our Lord Jesus Christ also. He is in heaven interceding. He and the Holy Spirit are one in spirit. When we have the Holy Spirit’s help in prayer, we at the same time have Christ’s presence and help. How blessed!
Might God help us to maintain more of an abiding spirit of prayer. Then whatever we are doing, our heart can be at prayer, and when our mind is not by necessity concentrating on other things, it, too, can be involved in prayer. The more we learn to keep a spirit of prayer in our hearts, the better prepared we will be when we go to a specific time of prayer.
Some people habitually have the radio or TV turned on while engaged in some activity. Switching it off would leave the heart and mind free for thinking about the Lord and talking to Him in prayer.
Someone has asked, “When you mind shifts into neutral, where does it go?” If you are free from having to concentrate your mind on something, what do you think about? Catch yourself at once if thoughts wander to criticism or vain imaginations. Employ yourself instead in prayerful thoughts, or in praise, or in musings on the Lord and His Word. This strengthens us in spirit and helps us be stronger when a set prayer time comes.
To be yielded continually to the indwelling Holy Spirit, to be controlled by Him is the way to the most blessed fruitful life. Might we take up the challenge to this. None of us is perfected in this, but it is a worthy goal toward which to press.