Pastoral Perspectives

Be Prayerful

In the busy-ness of life, we are so caught up with many pursuits and things in life that we do not seem to be able to focus and to concentrate. Each day seems to move so fast without our notice. Slowing down for some of us seems rather difficult. How do we maintain a prayerful spirit throughout the day? How can we carve out time for the God whom we believe and trust? What catches our attention at the beginning of the day?

My question for us is: How do we begin our day? After waking up from bed, what comes to our mind first? As for me, I would utter a simple thanksgiving prayer: “Father in Heaven, I thank You for a brand-new day which You have graciously given to me. In Christ Jesus’ most precious Name, I earnestly pray. Amen.”

The other question for us is: How to be prayerful? Is it difficult to be prayerful? Our attitude is important in relation to being prayerful. In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, we are instructed with these wonderful words: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” When we delight in God, we would enjoy conversing with Him. It is like talking with our loved ones and our close friends. Let us rejoice in the Lord always. In Him, we anchor our faith and hope. When we decide to embark on a prayerful journey, we would be able to “pray without ceasing”, that is “pray continually (constantly/regularly)”. When we are determined to cultivate a thankful heart to God, we would be conscious of His goodness and kindness and offer to Him our thanksgiving and praise. Let us look at the situations in our lives and see the hands of God in each of those situations. Know that at times, we may not comprehend what we are going through but we can only cling to God and commit to Him our cares and concerns and trust in His great faithfulness and His wonderful goodness.

One way to be prayerful is to practise the presence of the Lord throughout the day. This is to cultivate the attitude of being conscious of God or of being mindful of Him in our daily life. I would suggest that you may want to pause at certain time or interval of the day to remind yourself that God is with you, interceding for you and inviting you to call on Him. In Jeremiah 33:3, we are instructed with these encouraging words: “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” I uttered a simple prayer like this: “Lord, help me know that You are here with me. Amen.” May this encourage us to be prayerful: “Expect great things from a great and good God!”

Another way to be prayerful is to write down your prayer pointers and pray them to God. Here are some prayers which I wrote down and then prayed. On 1 January, I uttered this prayer: “Faithful Father in Heaven, I praise You for Your tender-mercy and loving-kindness. I pray that I will always rejoice in the Lord. I pray that I will be faithful, grateful, prayerful, thankful and watchful. I pray that I will sing song to worship You. Amen.” On 19 January, I uttered this simple prayer: “Lord God Almighty, guide me and help me to serve better and wiser. Amen.” On 30 January, I uttered this prayer: “Holy Father in Heaven, I praise You for Your steadfast love shown towards me. I pray that I will abide in Your love. I pray that I will focus on Your love and faithfulness. Overflow me with Your amazing and awesome love. Let all that I have done be done in love and with love. Amen.”

Still another way to be prayerful is to excite and encourage each other to pray and in prayer. Tell each other what a great and good God He is! Invite each other to share prayer requests and then pray together. Invite each other to the prayer meeting where we can see the excitement and encouragement of others in prayers. Sense what prayer has meant to each one of us. Let God does His great and awesome work amongst us as He is able to and capable of doing.

Let us delight in God and enjoy having communion with God. Know that God delights to hear His children pray and that He is eagerly waiting for us to come to Him and confide in Him in faithful, fervent prayers. Maintaining a prayerful spirit will help us greatly in our journey with God each day of our lives. We, not only experience His presence, but we also experience His peace, His power, His promises, His providence and His protection.

So, to be prayerful, let us:

  1. Embrace a prayerful spirit throughout the day and the week.
  2. Embark on a prayerful journey by having a prayer journal.
  3. Enter our prayer closet with our prayer pointers in a written form.
  4. Enjoy our prayer time with God and with the people of God.
  5. Excite and encourage each other to pray and in prayer.
  6. Experience the power of prayer.

“Expect great things from a great and good God!”