Sunday, January 10, 2010

When Prayer Puts you to Sleep:

1 Thessalonians 5:17
Pray continually...

Our church is a part of a community-wide time of fasting and prayer, in hopes of seeing breakthrough in different parts of our lives.  In hopes bringing us to a place where our hungry souls are feeding on Him alone.

There is so much to be said of fasting and prayer.  Today, I’m focusing on the prayer.

I must admit, out of all of the spiritual disciplines- for me, prayer is the most difficult.  When it comes to finding a time to simply “be still” before God- for someone as active as me it can be as devastating as a sentence into solitary confinement. 

My mind wanders, my eyelids get heavy, my thoughts are distracted, and I’m bombarded with the many tangible things I could be doing in place of this intangible act. 

And this, you see, is the foundation of all my problems with prayer.  Because the fruit of prayer is not always felt instantaneously, because my requests are not always granted immediately, because there is no material evidence that something is being accomplished- it is easy to slip into the lie that prayer is “insubstantial”.

In order for that lie to be countered, it must be battled with truth:

Prayer is significant because prayer is relational. 

Just because I am not “accomplishing” anything with friends, does not mean that my time was ill spent.  In fact, some of my favorite moments with my husband involve the two of us sitting together, talking, being still with one another, my head resting on his shoulder.  They are intimate moments.  Moments that I would never in a million years trade for even the greatest of accomplishments. 

My favorite description of prayer is put best by Brennan Manning in his book The Ragamuffin Gospel:

“A little child cannot do a bad coloring.  Nor can a child of God do a bad prayer.  A father is delighted when his little one, leaving off her toys and friends, runs to him and climbs into his arms.  As he holds his little one close to him, he cares little whether the child is looking around, her attention flitting from one thing to another, or just settling down to sleep.  Essentially the child is choosing to be with her father, confident of the love, the care, the security that is hers in those arms. 

Our prayer is much like that.  We settle down in our Father’s arms, in his loving hands.  Our mind, our thoughts, our imagination may flit about here and there; we might even fall asleep, but essentially, we are choosing for this time to remain intimately with our Father, giving ourselves to him, receiving his love and care, letting him enjoy us as he will.  It is a very simple prayer.  It is a very childlike prayer.  It is prayer that opens us out to all the delights of the kingdom.”

May you crawl into your Father’s lap and simply enjoy His presence.  And may you feel the abundance of His love for you today. 

Question for Response: What are some ways to improve the discipline of prayer?


  1. hmm...lots to think about...
    I like that exerpt from that book, puts it in a good perspective.
    and I honestly don't know the answer to the question for response. but this entry makes me rethink how I view praying.

  2. great quote and illustration - a wonderful image of prayer. I have learned entering into the silence of prayer is a process. I can't expect to barge into God's arms, demand , then leave refresh I slowly relax in his presence, emptying my hands of my busyness, and opening them up to him. One practice that has helped is to turn my heart to him several times during the day and when I can't sleep at night. That constant seeking Him.

  3. Such beautiful words. I found your blog through a discussion on facebook and I will be back for more encouragement! Thanks.

  4. Kaycee, you're right, and I think we all need to rethink how we pray. Thanks for your faithfulness to reading, and for your comments!! Highly appreciated.

  5. Jean I like that picture....thanks for the perspective. I found myself in prayer last night in the middle of the night- and it was such a good way to spend otherwise restless time. Thanks for the comment and for reading! I enjoy your thoughts.

  6. Jessi, thanks for the kind words, glad you enjoyed the post....appreciate your reading and hope to hear back from you again soon!

  7. I loved the illustration. One thing I've learned that we don't need to be on our knees to pray. We can pray while driving, while working, or whatever.

    God knows our heart. Some days, I never say Amen. I simply bask in the peace in knowing that He is listening.

  8. Marty, I love that phrase, "Some days I never say Amen"...isn't that truly the concept of praying continually?

    Thanks for that...should have used that as my post title:) Thanks for your encouraging words.


Love to hear your thoughts...