A fresh view when I took a different path.
We’re such creatures of habit. For instance, we usually take the same route when we go from point A to point B. I do this when I take my morning walk. Occasionally I reverse the route; it’s amazing how you see things differently when you approach everything from the opposite direction! Why I got in the habit of going clockwise instead of counterclockwise is beyond me. Then, too, I’ve decided to sometimes alter part of the route, walking a way I haven’t taken for awhile.
These morning walks are when I pray. My praying can be as routine as the route I take! I can catch myself praying familiar words and phrases while thinking of things far removed. It’s multitasking at its worst! Mindless praying is a first cousin to heartless praying, and both are relatively easy to fall into.
Physically changing my walking habits while I pray helps prompt a refocusing of my praying, making it more fresh. You may not pray while you walk, but no matter how we pray, when we pray, or where we pray, it can become routine, easily becoming a rut. How can we take a fresh approach to praying?
There are undoubtedly countless ways to put new life into praying. It just takes a bit of creative thinking and intentional application. If we only pray in short, quick, sentence prayers when we’re troubled or in trouble, then maybe scheduling a few minutes to talk to God each day would be a good first step, making an appointment with Him. If we pray regularly in a certain location, perhaps it can help to change location, at least once in awhile. If we pray through a regular list of requests, maybe telling God “ditto” on the regular requests and moving on to something we don’t usually cover could be refreshing on occasion. It can be helpful to focus on giving thanks during a particular quiet time with God. It can also be good to praise God for who He is, not just thank Him for what He’s done; any relationship is helped when affirming who the person is to us and not just what they do for us. If we get distracted while praying, then talk to God about the distraction; it’s obviously on our mind and He wants us to bring to Him that which is on our mind. These are just some suggestions.
Prayer shouldn’t be routine or boring. After all, we’re communicating with the Creator/Sustainer God of this vast universe! He can name every one of the hundred billion stars in each of the hundred billion galaxies. He tracks every subatomic particle in every piece of matter in the universe. So He certainly has no problem singling each of us out and lovingly giving us His full attention! He’s willing to listen; are we willing to talk? Let’s climb out of our religious rut and seek a new path of prayer!
‘”For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.'” Jeremiah 29:11-13