How do you go about praying? Do you have a routine you follow? Is there a specific location you prefer to go to pray? Is there a certain way you like to pray? Do you have a list you pray over?
I wonder how many of us set aside time to pray. After all, we live in a very busy world, and we fill our time with social media, streaming services, and games. Praying can quickly become a secondary option for us.
We may breathe short prayers in emergencies, and there is nothing wrong with that. We may be in conversation with God while commuting to work, which a good way to spend an otherwise monotonous time. But God also wants us to spend some dedicated time with Him in prayer, focusing on Him, focusing on our needs, even focusing on our desires, and asking for His guidance.
Jesus tells us in today’s passage to set aside time to pray. Not only are we to set aside time, but we are to set aside a place. Depending on the translation you use, it may say to go into your inner room or closet. The point is to be in a private place where you can spend quiet, focused time with God. When I see this passage, I am reminded of the movie War Room. A key character in the movie has set aside a room in her house for prayer. She teaches another lady to do the same, who clears out her walk-in closet and turns it into a prayer room.
Notice Jesus says not to simply babble along. In other words, we are to have a plan for our prayer. Having a list of topics to pray about is the idea here. Personally, I have book of prayer requests that have been given to me by others. I also keep a running list of things to pray over for my family and friends. This keeps us focused rather than babbling and not knowing what to pray about.
We also should allow some time in our prayer for God to answer. I doubt any of us will hear a booming voice, but we will hear the Spirit talking to us in a whisper. He will give us new thoughts we would not have thought of on our own. This requires us to learn to listen well. It also requires us to be in that quiet place, not being distracted by the noise of the world.
I pray we all set aside time to be in conversation with God. I pray we have a quiet place we go to focus on Him. I pray each one of us plan our time of prayer, keep a list of items to pray about. Spend focused time in prayer. Set aside a private place to pray. Listen for God to speak to you. Keep a list to pray over.
Matthew 6:6-7 “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.”