Do I Really Pray?

I am studying the book of Daniel in Bible Study. I struggle studying prophecy. I just don’t have pertinent historical facts filed away in my brain. Then there are about as many ways to interpret prophecy as there are people. So the prophetic portions of Daniel have taught me three things. God has a plan, His plan cannot be thwarted, and God wants us to be alert and ready for His return.

This week we studied Daniel chapter 9. Here is where God just got up in my grill. Like the baseball manager who presses his belly against the umpire’s chest protector and screams his displeasure. Only it was God voicing His displeasure with love, while I – the lowly manager of the time, talents, and resources He has given me – go all silent. Then I get the look. That sheepish one. You know that look of suddenly realizing you are in the wrong and how foolish you look.

Well there I was studying for Bible study, after I had read my quiet time passage, and written my blog post. I had done some pretty good time with God today. I was feeling pretty good about myself. Then I saw it…Daniel was reading his Bible too. The book of Jeremiah to be exact and when he got to a certain place, he did something. He put on sackcloth, sat in ashes, fasted, and prayed.

So backing up here, I had read my Bible, written a blog post to encourage others to be more Godly, and was studying my Bible, but God’s word hadn’t driven me to pray. I wasn’t moved in my emotions or my thinking. I was studiously checking things of my list. As if God cares about sacrifice. NO He cares about a broken and contrite spirit. He wants my faith, my time in the word to be translated into action. Specifically He wants me to pray for myself, for others, for our nation, for other nations.

I pray. I pray as I get up, as I wash dishes, I pray with each of my kids as they wake up and when they go to sleep. I pray on the fly, everywhere. But do I pray? Do I sit down without computer, phone, distraction and really pray? Do I come before God like Daniel did to confess sins, to ask for mercy. Do I sit still on my knees and pray? I confess not very often and by that I mean once a month would be stretching it.

Do I ever REALLY PRAY? Does God expect me to pray that way? I mean Him and me and nothing else…On my knees? Jesus prayed. He prayed for hours. Could it be that my bed bound grandmother is doing more kingdom work as she prays throughout her day than I do as I chase my kids, write, speak, teach Sunday School, and lead small groups?

What would it look like if I would at least weekly spend 5, 10, 15 minutes on my knees literally?

So here it is…I commit to spend at least 15 minutes a week on my knees in intentional prayer time. This does not change my pray continually lifestyle that I am still working on. No, it just adds a new dimension.

Anyone care to join me? Let’s talk more about this subject of prayer. I can’t wait to hear what God is telling you! I hope you join me!

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Angela
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0 Responses to Do I Really Pray?

  1. Kim says:

    Seriously…how did you read my mind this morning? Before I read your post, I spent my few rare moments on my knees. (I’m more like you a prayerer all day long.) This morning however I was prompted to my knees. I will join you in your committment of 15 minutes this week on my knees. Along with that, I will be praying that God speaks to us during this time…so that we will continue to have His guidance and direction, making best use of the talents and time He has blessed us with.
    Thanks for this great post!

  2. D2 says:

    Prostrating ourselves before the LORD is one way to show that we are at the mercy of His Everlasting Grace. That being said, I don’t pray on my knees too often.

    One reason is that I have bad knees. But, I suppose, another reason is that I don’t always have something so powerful that I feel led to prostrate myself.

    Daniel 9:2-3 says:
    2 in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the LORD given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years. 3 So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.

    In other words, what moved Daniel to fast and petition in sackcloth and ashes was the realization that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years. I’m sure he prayed just as earnestly other days, but the realization that the capital city of his homeland would remain in ruins for likely the rest of his life must have made him really sad.

    I’m not completely familiar with your situation, but it does seem like you have something in your life that may cause the same kind of powerful, raw and emotional prayer that Daniel shared with us in Chapter 9.

    • Yes Daniel was moved to his knees…Probably because the Israelites had been in captivity for nearly 67 years already. Daniel was about 86 years old. Most likely he realized that the Israelites had yet to confess their sins and learn the lessons they needed to learn in order to go back to the promised land. So he confessed the nations sins. He was a faithful man of God, but he was also a sinner. So he was moved. However Daniel also had a habit of stopping and kneeling to pray three times a day regardless. Check out Daniel 6…He was so consistent that is why he was “caught” and thrown to the lions.

      Having said that I believe that dedicated time of prayer, on my knees if physically able or on my stomach or in my chair for that matter is an important part of prayer that I am missing out on. Please don’t get me wrong, praying continually is important, but I think if I don’t spend dedicated time to prayer I am missing out on something important.

      Not only that, but being on my knees or stomach or face reminds me that I am but dust compared to Him. It puts God in His proper place and me in mine. 😉

  3. Oh, the checklist. The good, Christian girl checklist. Guilty as charged! And God has called me to feast in His presence daily during Lent. A time of listening to HIs voice, rather than my usual rushing through to read and memorize His words. Engaging my heart with my actions.

    Thank you for adding your link up to “Without Question” today, my friend. You are a blessing.

  4. Rachel Pops says:

    It is so interesting that I read your post today! I was reading Daniel today, too, and have really been impacted about real prayer lately. I have also been reading a book called Intercessory Prayer by Dutch Sheets, which I highly recommend if you’re up for some not-so-light but powerful reading. This verse jumped out at me today:

    Daniel 10:12 Then he said to me, “Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words.”

    I really think that this is what we need to do, too, to hear from God. We have to set our hearts to understand and humble ourselves before our God. When we are prostrate on our knees, we will hear His voice. 🙂

    • Thanks so much Rachel for checking out my blog! God is so good to bring us together reading the same passages and feeling Him nudging us to spend more dedicated time with Him in prayer!

      I LOVE that verse from Daniel 10! Isn’t God good?

  5. Tracy Nunes says:

    Angela,

    The title of your post caught my attention. I said these same words…almost exactly, a few days ago. Like you, I pray a lot throughout the day and in all kinds of situations and I think God likes those prayers. But, I know I’m not getting to the great depths I could if my heart and my body were prostrate before the Lord more often. Like another one of your commenters I have a hard time with the knee thing, but I know there is a way.

    Great challenge. I’m in!

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