The Consistent Practice of Prayer

Cover image of The Consistent Practice of Prayer on the Jesus Calling blog

Rest in Me, My child. Give your mind a break from planning
and trying to anticipate what will happen. Pray continually, asking
My Spirit to take charge of the details of this day.
Jesus Calling, June 10

I don’t know about you, but I’m a do-er. I like to make a plan, create action steps, and then create boxes for those action steps that I can check off. Yes, I’m that girl. I want to look and feel productive. If there’s a problem, I want to solve it. I want there to be a tangible way to grasp the solution.

And that’s exactly why prayer was so hard for me to prioritize.

Prioritizing prayer

I was too busy hitting the ground running as soon as I woke up, working and taking care of everyone else throughout my day, and then falling into bed exhausted. After realizing that prayer should be a huge part of my life, I created a 28-day prayer challenge (mostly for myself) and invited my friends on social media to join in! I was honestly surprised when I saw theThe book cover titled the 28-day prayer journey by Chrystal evans Hurst challenge all the way through. I learned a few things about myself and prayer along the way.

So, what was my problem with prayer? I didn’t dislike praying; it just wasn’t something I naturally did while going about my day. I wanted to be consistent, but I realized that in order for that to happen, I had to be intentional.

It reminds me of my marriage.

Get into problem-solving mode

Do I love my husband? Absolutely. Would I intentionally think, Man, I’m just NOT going to connect with him today because I don’t want to grow in intimacy with him? No! But if I don’t have certain checkpoints that make me pause when life becomes a whirlwind, my relationship with my husband will get placed on the backburner. It’s happens like a drift or a slow fade. 

Kind of like gaining weight. It just happens slowly over time when we are not intentional.

Most of us don’t intend on gaining a whole bunch of weight, losing connections with our spouse, or feeling distant from God. It just happens. We let the cares of life roll in, and we go with our natural tendencies. Even if you don’t go into “problem-solving” mode when a crisis hits, you may “numb out” to distract yourself.

Be intentional

Either way, I’ve learned that it pays to pause and pray. It’s simply worth it to be intentional, abandoning what comes natural to your personality and embracing what God would have you to say or do.

My solution aimed at greater intention? Prayer prompts. I created prompts for each day and set alarms to remind myself to sit still and check in with God in prayer.

I know what you are thinking: Isn’t that still indulging your tendency to make checklists?

Lean into your gifts

In this case, I allowed God to use my gift of productivity and organization for His glory. It was no longer for my own selfish motives that led me to His feet. I was no longer intentional about somehow solving the “problem” on my own. I was now intentional about being still enough to hear the One who can help me with anything. I wanted my actions to match my belief system: If I really believe that God is who He says He is, can I let this [insert situation] go? Can I surrender how it all might turn out? Can I give in to the not knowing?

While pausing three times a day was no easy feat, I did it.  At the end of the day, I was consistent! And my soul was reminded that I am not in control.

The time to act and the time to pray

I learned so much during the challenge. First, I realized that being with God in prayer is just as important as doing things for God. I often think about how God must feel, watching all of His kids running around stressed out and doing pointless things to make themselves feel like they are in control. How odd that must seem to a God who knows the whole story: If only they would sit still a moment and check in with Me. I would give them strategic direction.

There are times to act, and there are times to pray. But only when we are still do we know exactly what to do at the right time. Sometimes, God wants nothing from us but our undivided hearts. Quieting our hearts to sit content with our Savior and to enjoy His presence is absolutely enough. In our fast-paced, go-go-go world, find your resting place in Him. 

Prayer is our secret weapon

Prayer is our secret weapon, and we shouldn’t underestimate the power of prayer and how God fights for us while simultaneously providing us with rest. I pray you don’t miss out on this beautiful way of connecting with the Father. And I hope that you give yourself the opportunity to build into your life the consistent practice of prayer.

Remembrance of Me is a daily discipline.
Never lose sight of My Presence with you.
This will keep you resting in Me all day, every day.
Jesus Calling, June 10

Guest Jesus Calling blogger Chrystal Evans Hurst photo with photo credit to Pharris PhotosChrystal Evans Hurst is the best-selling author of She’s Still There and Kingdom Woman. Her new book is The 28-Day Prayer Journey. You can find Chrystal regularly sharing encouragement via her podcasts and blogs, where she poignantly reflects on faith and speaks with frank honesty about the everyday experiences of women. You can find Chrystal sharing chronicles of the journey at (Photo credit: Pharris Photos)

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