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Motivation for Prayer

Prayer is hard work. External distractions may be managed by going into another room and leaving our phone out of reach, but what about internal distractions, how do we manage those?

I find that mental distractions are like a giant electro-magnet that is switched on when I close my eyes to pray. All the random to-do lists, memories and plans come rushing to mind and I forget that I am supposed to be talking to God. Prayer is spiritual warfare on the front lines. We shouldn’t be surprised that we are fighting the world, the flesh and the Devil when we worship God and appeal for His will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven.

In 1 Peter 4:7 we read: “The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.” This is a blunt motivation for prayer. Time is short. The consequences of unbelief are grave. The instruction to be alert and sober minded acknowledges the reality of distractions. If we do not work at fighting them, we will not be able to pray.

I won’t list strategies for prayer in this brief newsletter article, but I would like to point you to some resources that I have found helpful. First, the book Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald S. Whitney is a great place to start. Also, Tim Kerr, a pastor from Toronto, has written a prayer guide called Take Words With You. If you do a search for that title and author you will find a post by Tim Challies that includes a free PDF file of that book.

Let me conclude by encouraging you to pray. Pray for people that are struggling with illness and unemployment in our church. Pray for the Calvary Grace elders. Pray for wisdom regarding our future facility needs. Pray for more holiness in your life. Prayer is a privilege, but it is hard work. Let’s keep at it.