So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.  

If employees are spending their time at work not working, I started wondering if Christians are spending their time at prayer not praying. I confess to being distracted from prayer…

How did you receive Christ? When I prayed the sinner’s prayer as a 17-year-old, I asked God to forgive my sins and live in my heart. Looking back now, it seemed such a limited experience, even shallow, but it was real. God, the Holy Spirit did come to live in my heart, and He has confirmed His Presence there many times through life’s experiences, but also more objectively through what the Bible affirms. 

Recently questioning the validity of that teenage born-again experience, I asked God about it and John 15:16 spoke to me, “You did not choose me, I chose you.” As Christians we’ve been taught that the Bible and prayer are essential if we are to be strengthened in our most holy faith. Satan, the enemy of our souls, prowls around to make us doubt our faith. Our counterattack is to pray and also to read, study, memorise and meditate on Scripture. 

Basics of Christian discipline are vital for us to progress further into our union with Him as we were taught. Here are some practical helps that I gleaned from D.A. Carson on prayer in Colossians. They have helped to ‘un-distract’ me.

1. Pray until you pray. This is what the Puritans said. This morning I prayed a hymn with the line, ‘I am happy, O so happy!’  Hmm… I interrupted myself, ‘No, I’m not.’ But I persevered, fueling the spluttering engine of my faith until I could pray sincerely, ‘I am happy in the service of the King…To His guiding hand forever I will cling’.

2. Use helps to impede mental drift:

a) Speak your prayer out loud.

b) Pray through the prayers of Scripture. (Copy God.)

c) Pray song lyrics, lines of hymns.

d) Write out some of your prayers.

3. Much praying is not done because we do not plan to pray. 

We don’t need to sound like 17th century Puritans but we do need to pray until we pray, avoid mental drift, and plan to pray. 

Lord, teach us to pray.