|Weed, in my backyard|
I spent a good part of this afternoon on the deck overlooking our backyard. I prayed a lot. My prayer time today included worshiping God, beholding God in the beauty of his creation, thanking God (I do this a lot), just listening, and praying for people that God brought to my mind.
This was a time of great blessing and encouragement. I am better for it. I am focused, hope-filled, renewed. My faith increases. Decades of praying has increased my connectedness to God, which increases my faith.
Praying people grow in faith and trust in God, because the reality of God is experienced by them, in the ongoing act of praying. Conversely, a diminishing praying life will mean a diminishing faith. (How much faith does a person really have if they keep saying, "I just can't find time to pray?")
Rod Dreher writes:
"If we spend all our time in activity, even when that activity serves Christ, and neglect prayer and contemplation, we put our faith in danger. The 1960s media theorist Marshall McLuhan, a practicing Christian, once said that everyone he knew who lost his faith began by ceasing to pray. If we are to live rightly ordered Christian lives, then prayer must be the basis of everything we do." (Dreher, The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation, p. 60).