Prayer - just do it!
Nike have it right! Their logo “Just Do It.” actually makes great sense when it comes to exercise and health. Thinking about it doesn’t bring the results. Making plans to exercise doesn't equal actually exercising. Getting started is the best way forward. Usually the act of doing it brings pretty quick rewards, such as endorphins being produced, which then leads to doing it again (if you don’t overdo it). In fact medicos get pretty excited about how every bit of exercise actually helps.
It’s the same with prayer. Just do it! I have read a number of books on the subject and am always encouraged by the uplifting stories on answered prayer. I have preached on it a number of times. I have even run discipleship groups & seminars. But talking, or thinking about, talking to God isn’t doing it! Praying is the answer to all your worries, fears and blocks when it comes to praying.
“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:6, NIV84)
Not growing up in the Church meant that I didn’t know much of the rights and wrongs of prayer. My short time in a group called The Boys Brigade meant I had seen people praying to God and had been told that I could, and should, pray. So I did. Not all the time and mostly when something important was happening. It was only as God revealed Himself did I discover the deep reassurance and utter joy of opening my life and thoughts to my Creator. As I read my bible and joined others in prayer I grew in confidence in talking to my Saviour and learned what to pray about and tried different types of prayer.
“If you, then.. know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11, NIV84)
This is the universal constant: prayer births more prayer. More prayer develops understanding and a broadening of ways of praying. My most compelling reason for why this works is that when we Christians pray we are talking to a living and active supernatural being who wants us to discover more about Him and all that he is. As we pray we are relating to a God who wants to relate back. He wants us to share in his Universe, his thoughts and his purposes. He also wants to bless us with His best!
Soooooo, just do it.