Prayer can be showy. You’ve probably been in prayer gatherings where someone prays a long prayer using flowery language. Prayer is not entertainment; it’s a time of fellowship with God.
I know you can pray anywhere but there is something about having a place where we pray regularly. As I grew in my new-found zeal for prayer I began to find myself really looking forward to my prayer times sensing I was really meeting with the Father. The room in which I prayed became synonymous with those times and I would go to the room expectant that I was going to meet with God. The result was that I approached my personal prayer times with faith.
Praying for a long time, using many words or repetition doesn’t mean we are more likely to get God’s attention. I really don’t know why we feel that God will hear us more clearly like that. This Scripture makes it clear that it’s not about words, length or repetition, because God knows anyway. It’s about quality—the right heart attitude, concentrating on what we’re doing, trying to live a life that doesn’t contradict our prayer life—not quantity.
Let me explain 3D praying to you. The three Ds stand for Desire, Discipline and Delight. First, and you cannot bypass this starting point, there needs to be Desire. Desire to be a person of prayer. Without that desire, nothing will ever change. You can’t force the desire, but you can ask God to plant that in you by his Spirit.
Second, it requires Discipline. Actually, you could double the D and make it daily discipline. This is the hard part, as you’ve probably already discovered. But I want to assure you that as you face the discipline it gets a lot easier; you’ll find the third D eases it considerably.
The third D is Delight. Yes, truly prayer has become a delight for me: spending time with the Father, opening up my life with its ups and downs, hearing what he has to say to me. What’s not to like! That means that I can look forward to praying; making my way towards the place where I usually pray I’m actually expectant that I’ll meet God during that time. What a change! It’s delightful.
Matthew 6:5-8 (KJV)
5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
1 John 5:3 (KJV)
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.