But when it comes to devoted times of prayer, the kind that Jesus talked about in Matthew 6:6 when he said "when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret", well, I'm not great at that.
So any habit that forces me to be a little more regular in times set a aside for prayer is a win. And recently I've created just such a habit and I thought I would share it just in case any of you out there find that you're like me when it comes to praying. I wanted to shared the two prayers that I've begun to pray to start my day and start my personal Bible study.
Pray Before Your Day: The first I came across as I was reading J.D. Greear's book, Gospel: Recovering the Power That Made Christianity Revolutionary. J.D. says this of the prayer:
"There’s nothing magical about this prayer. It’s not an incantation to get God to do good things for you. Incidentally, it’s also not my attempt to replace the Lord’s Prayer. This prayer is simply a tool to help you train your mind in the patterns of the Gospel. The point is not the prayer; the point is thinking in line with the Gospel.
"The gospel prayer has four parts. The 1st two parts lead us inward, helping us to renew our minds in God’s acceptance of us and the value of that acceptance to us.
"Part 3 of the prayer has us consider what responding to the grace of the gospel looks like. Understanding God’s generosity toward us should lead us to radical generosity toward others.
"Part 4 of the prayer helps us see our world through the lens of the gospel. If the cross really does reveal God’s compassion for sinners and His resurrection His power to save them, then our prayers on their behalf should be audacious and bold."
Pray Before You Study God's Word: The second prayer comes from John Piper's book, When I Don't Desire God. I've found this prayer particularly helpful in reminding why I am sitting down to open the Bible at all and asking God to bring the two-edged sword of his Word to bear against the thoughts and intentions of my heart.
What about you? Care to share any tips or aids in becoming a better prayer?