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To me, a good way to answer this question, which is an issue that most, if not all of us have dealt with in our days of living the life as a Christian, is this: Remember, the night before Jesus was crucified and He was in the Garden of Gethsemane by Himself praying and crying out to The Father....! What is my point here? Jesus, in His humanness, dealt with fatigue, distraught, despair and other trying emotions that seem to make us feel 'defeated', or even discouraged. After all, He knew what was before Him the very next day and what His sacrifice would be. Now, concerning our lack of desire to mentally focus and "have a talk with God" is one of Satan's major tools of distraction and deception; making us think "oh, what does it matter..I'm just too tired and sleepy to pray, talk to God and tell Him I need Him and I love Him, and Thank Him for His Son, Jesus Christ!". Well, this is when you should realize that praying to God, the Father is the single most important minute or minutes of your every single day. "Time spent with God is the most precious in the life of His Children" whether you realize it or not! Another excellent way to motivate yourself to pray is to purposely remember many of the good things that has come your way and realize the tough situations that He brought you out of or "rescued you in just the 'nick of time'." God loves you more than you will ever know! Major point is this: God loves you and God loves me! Talk to him, walk with Him, Cry out to Him and "cast your cares upon Him, for He will work mighty wonders for those that call upon His name, in the Holy Blessed name of Jesus Christ, His Son". May God Bless! ~~Andy~~
Trying to motivate yourself to pray or to do anything _for God is a waste of time. That is legalism and it always fails! God doesn't need anything from us, Acts 17:25,' And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.' He also says we can do nothing apart from Him, John 15:5, '"I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.' What He does want is a relationship with us and it begins by knowing that Jesus already did everything for us and we are to simply rest in His finished work, allowing Him to live His life through us by the power of His indwelling Holy Spirit. He died for our sins because He loves us. He gave us mercy, which is not getting the punishment we deserved. He also gave us grace (and faith) which is receiving for free something we could never earn. His mercy, grace, and love all operate in His gift of faith to us, Ephesians 2:8-9. We, by faith, are to trust that He will lead us into all righteousness. He did it all, He still does it all, and our 'job' is to abide in Him while He continues the work of the Holy Spirit through us. Philip in Acts 8:25-40 had just finished sharing the Gospel in the town of Samaria and was on his way back to Jerusalem with others, preaching in Samaritan towns along the way when, all of a sudden the Holy Spirit tells him to leave all those people and go to one person, a eunuch in a chariot on the road to Gaza to explain Isaiah 53, the messianic passages telling of Jesus' coming. As you probably know, the eunuch believed and was baptized and when he came up out of the water, Philip was gone, taken away by the Spirit to Azotus to continue proselytizing on the way to Caesarea. Do you think Philip, after witnessing to so many Samaritans, was thinking going to one man alone was what he needed to do next? Isaiah 55:8 says, '"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. Who are we to think we know better how to conduct our lives than Jesus does? Understand how much God loves us first and we will come to love Him more and want to spend more time with Him in prayer. Know there is nothing He wants us to do except follow where He leads. Ephesians 2:10 says, 'For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.' God has works planned for us and He will lead us in those works if we stay out of His way and stop trying to do His job for Him. We see that our own motivation takes us nowhere. Jesus doesn't need us to do anything for Him and tells us we can do nothing apart from Him. Only when we forget our egos are we able to have a fulfilling Christian life.Self-motivation will never keep us prayerful but, trusting in Jesus' plan for us will. Stop trying and start being in Jesus and He in you. Your prayer life and every aspect of your Christian identity will flourish as long as you live.
Typically I would answer this question with scripture, however, my own personal experience through life struggling with prayer may help you to understand. First off let's start with you. What are you focused on? Money, job, a woman or a man, drugs, alcohol, injury, death or fill in the blank (_____). Pray for those things that are important to you, but ask for the Father's guidance and will, not your own. Pray while you drive, while at work, at a party, wedding, funeral, ball game, in other words wherever you are, continue to pray. Start each prayer by praising and exalting God (you can even sing a song of praise). Pray for others, those whom you love, like and even hate; forgive everyone who has hurt you or sinned against you. Love everyone and share your love of Christ with all you know and meet. You MUST build relationships with God's children, those in-Christ. You will find that your life will become less important when you can read the hearts of others and give of yourself to help them (through prayer) with their struggles; LOVE everyone. You will soon find that your prayers will include all the names of God's children that you love and care about. Pray for Mom and Dad, wife, girl friend, sons and daughters. If you cannot pray for them it is because you do not know them and the struggles that they are currently dealing with. You will need to sacrifice some of your valuable time and become an imitator of Christ; He suffered and sacrificed His life so that we may be resurrected from death, free from sin, to live forever with our God. Sample prayer for anywhere anytime: God of all creation, the one and only God; who knit my soul and being together in my mother's womb. My Father who knew my name since the beginning of time, I present myself to you, your servant. You know my heart, good and bad, equip me with your love and knowledge found in your word to direct me and my steps to walk with you on this difficult road of life. (Customize your needs, needs of others, the promised Holy Spirit will present your desires to God in a way that we cannot fathom). End your prayer by saying "In Jesus name, Amen"! Little mini prayers can be sent to heaven anytime. "God, please be with my wife and comfort her when she speaks to the Doctor about the complications involved with our new daughters birth". "Get behind me Satan, I want no other relationship then that with my wife". "If that traffic light had not changed when it did I would have been killed"! Thank you Father. See what I mean? Remember; there will be times when you will need to withdraw to lonely places to be alone with your Father God. You MUST have a personal relationship with Him. I John 4: 7-12; Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. Praise God all ye heavens! In-Christ, Elwin
Joyce Meyer once said, I believe, "When my feet hit the floor in the morning I want the Devil to tremble"! That pretty much sums up the right attitude about prayer: the sword of the Spirit is the Word of the Lord. We cannot, according to Ephesians 6, be properly protected and armed without putting on the whole armor of God. I can't jump out of bed and pull a helmet of salvation out of my closet, you know what I mean? And I sure am not going to be one of the Pharisees as in Luke 18: 9 ¶ He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” I listen to Charles Stanley a lot, and he emphasizes having a place and a time that is quiet and by yourself for prayer. Until my knees turned into arthritis and titanium, even then until my sixth ankle surgery, I used to kneel with my head and hands on my favorite chair. My Lhasa Apso would usually come and kneel with me. It was dark thirty in the morning and we were the only ones in the house. Cubbie, my pup, reminded me in his total dependence on ME that I am totally dependent on the Lord for EVERYTHING. The next breath I'm gonna take? The Lord! If I spent all of the time thanking Him that I should, I'd never have time to do all the ancillary things in life. Find a place and a manner of praying that you're comfortable with. It doesn't have to be like Daniel (6: 6 ¶ Then these presidents and satraps came by agreement to the king and said to him, “O King Darius, live forever! 7 All the presidents of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the counselors and the governors are agreed that the king should establish an ordinance and enforce an injunction, that whoever makes petition to any god or man for thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions. 8 Now, O king, establish the injunction and sign the document, so that it cannot be changed, according to the law of the Medes and the Persians, which cannot be revoked.” 9 Therefore King Darius signed the document and injunction. 10 When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously. 11 ¶ Then these men came by agreement and found Daniel making petition and plea before his God.), although, the spirit should be the same. When the death squads have come to my house and want to know if I am a Christian, I pray that there is enough evidence that I shall not even be brought to trial. Why this attitude? I come back to Colossians (well, OK, Philippians AND Colossians) where Paul reminds us that to honor and to follow Christ is to think good thoughts and to LISTEN TO THE LORD YOUR GOD THAT YOU MAY KNOW WHAT HE REQUIRES OF YOU. On that final note, I'll close my limited answer. As I typically say, the greatest honor a follower of Christ has is the opportunity to follow our God. If we do not pray, then we cannot listen. So get in a comfortable position every morning, kneel down, close your eyes, say good morning to God, and LISTEN to what he has to say back to you. You'll probably be surprised.
When discussing an issue as tremendously personal as this, it is best to stay in the simple. Why is it personal? Because each of us that struggle with wanting to be more faithful in our prayer lives realize that it is more about our personal relationship to the one with whom we are interacting than it is about the items we are presenting. We all know that prayer is deemed to be essential in the believer's life: it empowers and emboldens our faith even as it accomplishes wonderous things (in both) the spiritual and the physical world. It also helps us to remain focused on God, instead of the circumstances of our private lives. So why is it often so far down our list of acted-upon priorities? Let me answer the question (How do I motivate myself to pray when I don't feel like it?) with the simple truth that - we "know" it is important to pray - as an obvious response, yet that will be the foundation that the simple answer of "how" stands on. What makes it "important"? Is it duty? Is it laws and rules? Or is it LOVE? We have already reaffirmed that prayer is about a personal relationship. What we need to remind ourselves is that our relationship with God is foundational on LOVE. When LOVE is the fuel, we can do great things and not feel the burden of it at all. In fact, the opposite is usually true. Ask anyone who has fallen in love how easy it is to make time to spend with your loved one. Where it becomes a challenge is when that relationship settles into "normalcy". Ironically, we think that is a problem. We live our lives on the 80/20% rule but have been conditioned to believe that the 80% is "less special". For 20% of the time, major events (both painful or pleasant) are in play in our lives. The remaining 80% is routine. We have been led to believe that life is supposed to be lived in the 20% zone. In a relationship with a loved one, we also live in the 80/20 rule, and we also wished we were always in the 20%. So what can we do to step into the excitement from the routine? We can refocus on the loved one. We can choose to love passionately instead of passively. This takes some effort but it is self-fueling once we start. By re-igniting the romance (to use an allegory) we soon find ourselves acting according to our "desiring time with a loved one" instead of out of duty and routine - and what had started to become duty soon becomes desire. How then do we pray more when we don't "feel" like it? Simple, create a "date" with your loved one. Don't see the time as routine. Learn to create memories and cherish those special "dates" with the lover of your soul. LOVE will make those meetings easy to have, and LOVE can easily be rekindled with just a little bit of effort. Start to take even small gestures and FOCUS on making them big. Tell God as often as you can how thankful you are for his love and what he (be specific) actually does to show you that love. Fall in love with him afresh. Don't see prayer as a need, see it as a date. Envision yourself "getting to spend time with your lover" instead of talking about the bills that need to get paid, (or whatever else falls into the 80% time). My suggestion is that you focus on the relationship, and work at remembering your first love. Consider yourself as one who is pining for your lover while you are out of the country, (in your role as an ambassador) and wake up imagining that you get to just pick up the phone and tell them how much you miss them and love them. Set a specific time when you promise that you will call your (spiritual) lover every day, and cherish that time as you would a romantic "date". With God - you will easily hear him reply that he loves you too (and even more so than you do).
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