How to Pray: Part 5 – The Battle of Prayer

You may have read the four posts that came before this and thought, that’s too much.  I can’t do that.  Sure you can.  I won’t lie, it is a battle.  You are not alone.  Everyone has had this battle.  Remember at the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus asked Peter, John, and James to keep watch and pray.  They fell asleep instead.  Jesus asked them could you not keep awake one hour?  Even great Apostles like Peter, John, and James had trouble praying.  So don’t be discouraged.

Who do we battle?  The Enemy who would like nothing better than the turn us away from God.  Yes we must face him, but more so we must battle with ourselves.  We must face distractions and a wondering mind.  Jesus insists on vigilance.  “Stay awake,”  He tells us repeatedly.  It is hard, but the best way to overcome is to keep doing it.  Set aside a certain time every day for prayer.  Build it into your day.  Try not to think of it so much as a duty, because then you will begin to resent it.  As you make a habit of it you will begin to desire it, to enjoy it, and eventually you will wonder how you ever got by without that special time everyday.

Another obstacle you will face is dryness.  When you first begin to pray you will be almost overwhelmned by feelings of joy and peace.  God is giving you a taste of union.  This taste will give you the strength to continue the battle.  Eventually He will take these feelings from you.  We call this dryness.  Prayer will become work.  You won’t feel like you are getting anything out of it.  But persevere.  He does this because we begin to put to much emphasis on the feelings we get from prayer.  We do it because it feels good.  Sometimes those feelings begin to replace God in our minds.  He won’t let that happen so He takes them away.  Be patient and trust in Him.  It will get better.  Your relationship will grow from it and become stronger.  You will become that much closer to God.  So no matter what keep praying.

Another thing to warn you off is temptations during prayer.  These can come from the enemy, but can also come from the ego.  Both get upset if you don’t pay them enough attention.  So they throw different things at you.  You may find yourself lusting during prayer.  Not be upset.  Just keep going, ask God to take it away if it really upsets you.  Just trust in Him and keep praying.  That’s the main point, just keep praying.  If you do stop, don’t beat yourself up, just start again.

In conclusion, prayer is your relationship with God.  You have to work at that relationship.  The good news is that for every step you take toward God, He takes ten toward you.  Hopefully I have been able to help you.  If you have any questions or comments I would love to hear them.  God bless.

How to Pray: Part 4 – Contemplation

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