"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.." Eph.6:18
To grow spiritually, we need to pray. I have found this to be for me, the hardest spiritual exercise. It isn't praying I find hard at all. What is difficult is to have a set time that belongs to me and "Abba," free from distractions and interruptions. I have no problem praying as I go about my day. I may pray for my family, for social network request, for requests on the churches prayer chain, for those I work with, those I pass as I drive, those I work with in recovery, etc. It is my determination to spend time just talking with God in humility, on my knees, that I find hard to accomplish but necessary to grow into the stature of Christ.
"Every day will I bless You, and I will praise Your name forever. Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable." Ps.145:2-3
I don't want to come to God in prayer empty-handed. I want to hallow His name, praise His mercy and grace, His steadfast love, and constant watchful eyes to defend and protect me from danger and evil. The book of Psalms reveals so much of God's character. If you are like me, to praise and worship God before asking for anything in prayer, gives me the scriptural understanding that I have His attention. He inhabits my praise...in other words, that's His address.
"How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed in accordance to Your Word." Ps.119:9
This is my bread...daily. I love the Word more than anything in life. If you want to know God better, or at all, grab a Bible and devour it. I often hear others say," I don't understand it, so I have no interest in it." There are several new paraphrase versions, the Message, Good News, NLT, etc., that anyone mentally competent can understand. It is spiritual competence that is the problem, in truth.
Putting these together, prayer is like a seed, fertilized by our praise and adoration to God, watered by the living Truth of His Word. Though I find a set prayer time difficult, I find it much easier after I fertilize the soil of spirituality with praise, and realize the goodness and purity of the One I am addressing. Reading the Word creates the environment to praise and honor God, and like a cycle, prayer makes me grow in my understanding of the Word.
If you struggle with any of these, ask God in sincerity to open your spiritual understanding, He will. Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.