Why is prayer so boring? Why does my mind wander?

Do you have a prayer list? You have been told that you should pray and you feel guilty if you don’t. You breathe a sigh of relief (secretly) when you finish because that’s off your plate for to-day. But there is still to-morrow and you will repeat the same old words in the same old way with little or no expectation that anything will happen. No wonder your thoughts wander. You are so bored it is only natural.

Why do you insult God and deceive yourself that this is prayer? It is not prayer - - it is your habit, induced by guilt.

When you read your Bible (if you do) does excitement fill your heart and fuel your prayers – or is it another grim spiritual duty? Do you just read words on a page or do you go mining for treasure?

Be rock-bottom honest with yourself before God and everything can change - - if you want it to change.

When you open the scriptures take time to remember that they are alive with very Breath of the eternal God. Then ask the Holy Spirit to turn the lights on as you read. Now use your God-given imagination which is a time machine that can take you to amazing places. Let yourself be part of the sights, sounds and odours. Look closely at every person there, try to read their facial expressions and enter into what they are feeling at that moment. What is Jesus saying? How did it affect them back then? How does it affect you now? Maybe you have been praying for a certain person or situation where there is bad pain because of sickness or difficult circumstances. You have prayed for a long time but nothing ever changes - - except to get worse. Very discouraging! Do you just pray blindly on or is there a better way?

Jesus gave us the keys of the Kingdom (Mat.16:19). One of these keys is prayer. Actually - - what is prayer? Prayer is a relationship, continual fellowship with the Lord 24/7. This doesn’t mean you are making requests non-stop. It is a loving closeness with the Triune God. You can talk to Him, worship Him, listen to Him any time or anywhere. At waking times through the night your first thought will be of Jesus and you tell Him that you love Him.

But when you come to your list of specific requests, have a particular place for this --- a chair, a corner, your private place. Now take your prayer key and unlock the Kingdom of heaven and through the precious Blood of Jesus, enter the holy of holies, the prayer room, the throne room - - where Majestic Sovereignty sits on His high and holy throne. Pause to consider the wonder of the three Almighty Persons of the Triune Godhead waiting and prepared to welcome you with holy love.

Now your prayer becomes a one-on-one, heart-to-heart conversation with the Sovereign Creator of the stars, Who changes caterpillars into butterflies and transformed a Christ-hating murderous Saul into the greatest saint of all time.

There is something else available with your prayer key. Jesus said (Jn.14:12) you shall do the same works I do and EVEN GREATER! How could that be possible - - but it must be because Jesus said it. By prayer of course. As God shares His heart with you concerning a particular person or situation, you discern His will (not our wishes) and through prayer in the Holy Spirit, God allows you to be part of His agenda around the world. Are you beginning to sense the impact of your tremendous privilege and responsibility? Always beware of human sympathy - - it can lead to hardness against God - - even blasphemy.

If you and I truly desire to enter the school of prayer maybe God will have to send us to Zarephath with Elijah. It would take a whole book to cover all we could learn from (1Kings 17:1) - - but just a few highlights.

Because of the drought and the famine it caused, God told Elijah to go to the Brook Cherith. Ravens would bring him a meat sandwich for breakfast and supper, and he could drink from the brook. He obeyed and stayed at Cherith for about 3 years. Alone with God - - what was he learning? Then to his horror, the brook was drying up and one day it was nothing but wet mud. Then God told him to go to Zarephath in Sidon. Are you sure God said that - - sending a Jew to a Gentile city peopled by heathen! But again Elijah obeyed and went. Just as God had promised he met the specific widow. It sounded like Elijah was saying “I don’t care about your son - - make me the last cake”. But she did it and Elijah stayed with her many days. She had only a handful of meal and a little oil - - she never had more but she never had less and she had all she needed. Then after all her kindness to Elijah her son died. (Read about her shock, anger and pain). God resurrected him - - for the first time in human history up to that point, a dead person was raised to life. The woman became a believer but Elijah’s head was spinning. Cherith, Zarephath, possible starvation, food, death, life. Why?

Elijah had obeyed and trusted the Lord in everything up to that time. But there was a much bigger challenge ahead and Elijah had to be equipped for it - - even refined. Zarephath means refining and comes from the same word that means furnace. When we think about refining and furnace, we think about gold and silver being refined in the fire.

What about you and me? Are we so longing to live in that secret place where we feel the beat of God’s heart and have power in prayer for those “greater things”? Are we willing to go to Zarephath for the refining fire as God purifies and matures us?

If we are, I don’t think we’ll ever be troubled by boredom or wandering thoughts in prayer again.

I am still learning but I’ve never been more excited about what I’m learning and I have never been more thrilled with Jesus. He is altogether lovely!

My faith is proved by my obedience. God’s power is proved by Him enabling my obedience. God works (Isa.64:4) on behalf of those who WAIT for Him. There is no way to lose if we trust Him.

Nothing can get OUT OF HAND if we put everything INTO THE HAND OF JESUS (Jn.10:28-29)

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