As our small Bible study group sat in the restaurant waiting on our server, we began to introduce ourselves. The pretty blonde across from me asked me what I did.
I always hated that question. I usually settled for “stay-at-home-mom.” But on that day despite the fact I had just begun this writing journey and never been published, I took a chance.
“I’m a writer,” I replied bravely.
“Oh! Me too!” she said.
And that was it. We were friends. Our hearts were bound together by Jesus and and a love for words. That was six years ago.
She recently published her first book. Here’s an excerpt and a guest post from Sandy. Her book is free on Kindle Thursday, November 6! (That’s tomorrow.)
WHY IS PRAYER SO HARD? (Excerpted from Chapter 1)
How difficult it is in our fast-paced world, where 10-minute devotionals are best sellers, to find a retreat of intimacy. We delude ourselves into thinking we have fellowshipped with the Father when, in fact, we have just driven through the fast-food line.
Life already bombards us with enough demands that for most of us it’s easier to leave the practice of prayer to our pastor or other full-time Christian workers. Even if we try to pray everyday, it’s usually just a few minutes squeezed between our morning coffee and the drive to work or the final moments before our eyelids close from exhaustion at the end of the day.
We promise God, and ourselves, that we will do better in prayer, but we continually fail in our own eyes, leading to feelings of guilt and frustration. These feelings, in turn, often immobilize us in our attempt to establish a meaningful and consistent prayer life. Even if we manage to set aside time for prayer every day, it’s likely that we will run into a few obstacles. Below are four hindrances to prayer that our culture and busy lifestyles help perpetuate.
I Can’t Hear You, God—It’s Too Noisy
First and foremost is the challenge to get quiet and listen. We are surrounded by so much noise in our culture we can barely focus in the natural realm, let alone in the spiritual realm. We find it difficult to quiet our minds and focus for more than a few seconds before we are distracted by our thoughts or surroundings.
A recent article in Parade Magazine, “What Your Nose Knows” revealed some interesting facts about our five senses, in particular, our sense of hearing. According to the article, at birth our ears are pristine organs, capable of discerning among more than 300,000 sounds, but after years of exposure to loud noises, the hair cells on the cochlea, in the inner ear flatten, becoming less sensitive. This constant bath of noise affects everything from our concentration to our health.[i]
If this is true in the physical realm, think how it applies to our spiritual hearing. God created mankind with pristine spiritual ears to hear every word He speaks, but when sin entered the world, our ears became less sensitive to God’s voice. However, the capacity for acute spiritual hearing is restored when we are born again through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. But in order to hear God’s voice, we must somehow find a spiritual retreat from all the noise of our culture.
God longs to lead us to a place of quiet in the midst of our hectic, noisy world. Psalm 23:2-3 says, He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul. Yes, it’s a battle to get there, and no, we can’t do it on our own. That is why Jesus told us He would send His Holy Spirit to help us.
[i] Kahn, Jennifer, “What Your Nose Knows,” Parade Magazine http://parade.condenast.com/109012/jenniferkahn/29-what-your-nose knows/ (July 29, 2012).
Lord, It’s Boring in My Prayer Closet (How to Revitalize Your Prayer Life) by Sandra Chambers
Free Kindle download of book—Nov. 6th !
Thanks for dropping by. Word Wednesday will be Friday! Hope to see you then.