Monday, February 03, 2014

Cultivating the Desire to Pray (PrayerLife)

I walked into Panera Bread to get a cup of coffee and saw, sitting next to a window, a friend from our church  with a Bible open and a journal before her. Her eyes were closed. She was either meditating on Scripture, or silently praying, or listening to God speak to her, or all of the above. She has been doing PrayerLife with me. 

I asked her, "How are these prayer times going?"

She responded, "I am so glad to be doing this. I can't believe all I have missed in not taking these prayer times. I'm going to continue this forever!"

What's happened to her? My thought is this. She committed to PrayerLife. I challenged her to pray, 30-60 minutes a day, 5 days a week. She's doing it. God has captured her heart. She'll never live without this again.

My experience is this: If students just do this prayer-exercise, a significant percentage will be captured by God and continue this throughout their life. They encounter the Living God and become more intimate with Him. When this happens experientially, they get hooked. Another fish, caught by God!

This confirms what Henri Nouwen writes: "The more we pray—in the sense of living a prayerful life—the more we desire to be with God in prayer. Prayer creates in us a hunger and thirst to be with the One whom we have seen shining through nature and moments in time, people, and events." (Nouwen, Spiritual Formation: Following the Movements of the Spirit, p. 26)

Give people a taste of God and they will want more. I have seen this happen many times over the years.

I've been hooked by God, too.