By Kim Butts
From time to time, many of us need a fresh shot of enthusiasm in many areas of our lives. Sometimes, we just need to do something different–to get ourselves out of a rut. other times, it is a need to change our attitude, or to overcome feelings of inadequacy, depression, frustration, or anger.
We all know that we have a Father in Heaven who is willing to listen, and to provide guidance in all of these circumstances. However, we often let ourselves be overcome or defeated by the circumstances–paralyzed. Many of us have been in situations when we know we ought to pray, but are unable to for a variety of different reasons.
So what practical steps can we take to put new life into our prayer lives, to renew an intimate relationship with our first love–Jesus Christ? Here are a few suggestions to help you “recharge” your spiritual prayer battery.
- Find someone to make yourself accountable to! If you tell a friend, members of your small group, or your spouse that you need help to get back into a prayer life that is fresh and exciting, and ask one or more of them to provide encouragement, and to check on your progress on a regular basis, you have already taken an important step. “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).
- Worship! If you are not spending time with the Lord in worship, we encourage you to do whatever it takes to bring yourself into God’s presence on a daily basis. Use praise tapes to turn your focus to Him, and to draw yourself away from your problems and needs for a time. Sing along, or just close your eyes and be in agreement with the scriptures. Read the Psalms out loud to the Lord, and make each one a prayer of praise! “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8).
- Ask the Lord to reveal any sin in your life which may be hindering your prayers, or which may even be the cause of a prayer life which is less than you would like it to be. Ask for His forgiveness and move on, knowing that the sin has been not only forgiven but forgotten. “Search me, 0 God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” (Psalm 139:23-24).
- Along with a good concordance, dig into the Word of God with expectation that He will fulfill His Word in you, and reveal His promises to you. Choose to study areas in which you need guidance, improvement, help. etc. For example if you need to be more joyful, look up scriptures about joy. If you need patience, study what God’s word has to say on that topic. Pray that the Lord will help you to grow in that area, and relinquish control of your life to Him. The burden can be lifted if you allow Christ to carry it for you. “When I called, You answered me; You made me bold and stouthearted . . . The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me” (Psalm 138:3,8).
- Don’t allow discouragement to sneak in. Take one step at a time. “Rejoice always, pray constantly. give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).