What motivates you to pray? What is your motive for starting a prayer life? What motivates you to have a conversation from time to time with your God?
Now, there’s some questions to ponder upon throughout your day today! Here’s how a couple of my friends replied to those questions:
“A prayer life for me was a process of going through the motions. I was a Christian, went to church every week. I did what was expected of me. But then I stopped praying.”
“As the years have drifted by, for me it was all about the mechanics of prayer and Bible study and going to church. My motivations were all wrong, of course. But if I’m completely honest, I have to admit that very little seemed to sink in. I was in full blown “spoon-fed” mode. I was much too caught up in playing the part of a Christian to be concerned with the depth of my spiritual life. Occasionally a crisis would pop up on the horizon, and I would pray as hard as I could. God wasn’t fooled by my emergency mode prayers. I could almost imagine Him saying, “How come you never talk to Me unless you’re in some kind of trouble?” A valid point, considering I’d basically ignored Him Monday through Saturday. Okay, most of Sunday too.”
“I became motivated to pray when I lost my job and my family nearly lost our home. I felt I was forced to pray to God for help. I at least understood that God could help me.”
“Motivation in prayer came to me when I was at camp. The speaker was pretty forceful about “developing a prayer life with God.” So, I guess more out of fear, I started praying that week of camp. By the end of the week, I started enjoying my chats with God and wanted to keep having them every day. I did okay for awhile but then started slacking off again.”
“My motivation comes from my relationship with Him. He loves me and I know that so well. But I want to love Him too. And I just figure that we have to talk, to share, to spend time together if that love relationship between me and God will ever grow.”
What is your motivation to pray?
I think, as Christians, each of our answers, could be as alike or as different from the next person. I think, while we each might have a relationship with God, each relationship is different and in a different place from the next person. In other words, I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer to those questions. Yet, I do believe that they are good questions to think about.
I have to tell you that a teenage student of mine asked me that question – what is your motivation to pray? – a few months ago. And yes, I needed some time to reflect and consider my honest answer to that question. I actually made a list of various answers I could give my student. All of which were true, at various points of my life, and within different circumstances that I was going through at the time. Here’s some of what was on my list:
a need for God’s help
a friend that asked me to pray for them
an emergency situation
a big decision that I need to make and didn’t know what to do
a challenge from the pastor at church to pray more
a specific prayer request
a heavy financial need
and so many more self motivation points!
But do you know, at the end of my thinking about it, I simply had to change the question. Yes, you read that correctly. I wanted to change my student’s question. I needed to change it for my own thinking. But I also wanted to challenge my student to think deeper into their own question. Perhaps we all should change that question.
So, consider this – – God, what do YOU want my motivation to be in prayer?
I began to ask God that question. And I waited for His answer. It came just a few days later, in my bible reading of the day. From Psalms 63 and the very first verse. One verse, that was all I read that day. That one verse gripped my heart like none other had for quite a while. One verse, stuck in my memory for over a week, as God ministered the meaning of that one verse to my needy heart and soul. One verse answered my question and changed my viewpoint as to what motivates me to pray. Here is that one verse:
“O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You. . . So I have looked for You. . . “
God should be my motivation to pray!
A desire to grow my relationship with my God should be the only motivation I need to pray! For “You are my God!”
My thirsty soul should be my motivation to pray!
The longing of my heart, body and flesh should be my motivation to pray!
God should be all the motivation I need to pray – to talk to – to converse with – to communion with – to bond with – to unite with – to dwell with – – God should be all the motivation I need!
So, I will look for Him! I will seek after Him! I will begin a conversation with Him!
Through the avenue of prayer, I will be motivated to grow my personal relationship with Him!
O God, You are my God! I love praying to You!