“I’ll pray for you.”

Four simple words that pack a serious punch … that is, if you hold up your end of the bargain. You know what I mean. Life happens: your child needs you, an e-mail pops into your Inbox or a text on your phone. Or maybe you’re one that thinks, “I’ll find some quiet time later,” but in reality, later never comes.

Well, you’re not alone. Been there, done that.

However, as I spend more time in – and reading about God’s intention for – prayer, I am increasingly more convicted of its great power and importance in our lives.

First, it’s important to know God welcomes us to call on Him often. In fact, Paul says to “pray all the time” in Ephesians 6 and “pray without ceasing” in 1 Thessalonians 5. God isn’t bound by office hours, so we are able to come to Him anytime – from the moment you wake up to before you hit the pillow and all the moments between. I have a friend that spends her 15-minute morning commute in prayer and she would tell you it’s the best 15-minutes of her day. Corrie ten Boom said, “Don’t pray when you feel like it. Have an appointment with the Lord and keep it.” Bottom line, if you have time, so does He.

And second, prayer is merely a conversation. It’s easy to get caught up in saying the “right words” or not knowing what to say entirely. But the truth is – God isn’t worried about a spiritual-sounding script … what he really wants is YOU however that sounds. Matthew writes about this in his Gospel (6:5-8) about not praying for the spectacle or amazement of others – this is speaking to a well-rehearsed prayer – and instead, finding an intimate place (he suggests your room) where it’s just you and God. Bottom line, ditch the effort to sound perfect in prayer.

So, the next time you utter those four simple words, stop what you’re doing and pray right where you are, right then. This might mean stepping out of the room or turning off your phone or computer. But it’s worth it. God loves hearing from his children. Don’t let life trump your best of intentions. Spend concentrated and devoted time in prayer. God looks forward to hearing from you.

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