One of the things i struggle with as a Christian is prayer. I have never been a "prayer warrior". Often my impatience trumps my prayer time. Recently, i have started a practice of reading a couple of pages from a book about prayer. This often is enough to prime the pump for me to enter into prayer.
I try to pray for 20 minutes every morning. The reason i chose 20 minutes is because i have friends who practice transcendental meditation and they meditate for 20 minutes TWICE a day. So, I thought if my unbelieving friends have the discipline and time management to do that, surely I can manage to spend at least one 20 minute segment in prayer.
These 20 minutes are divided in half: 10 minutes of meditation and 10 minutes of prayer. (I'll write a future blogpost on what both these sections mean and what I do during both.)
But, again, I wonder what am i exactly doing? I have come to the conclusion that a big part of prayer is "creating space". Creating space for God to work. So often our lives are crowded in with ourselves:
We often battle racing thoughts, anxiety and other hard emotions. If we see prayer as creating space, we are clearing out our minds, hearts and souls for God to have more freedom to work within us.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said
"No one can serve two masters.
Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. "
In the next line, he says: You cannot serve both God and money. Jesus was specifically addressing materialism and greed here. But, I think we can extrapolate the truth that if we are consumed with self, we have effectively blocked God out of our lives. We often are serving ourselves, devoted to ourselves which in effect will soon become rejection of God and his ways.
Prayer as creating space can help reverse this natural tendency in our hearts. Not only do we create space for God within our lives, this concept can be used in churches and organizations. Indeed, every sphere of human design can be influenced and effected by prayer which creates space for the Spirit of God to move.
So, create space in your prayer life today.