What I've Learned from 365 Days of Prayer

If there is one book that God has used to stir my spiritual life, it's Bill Hybels' Too Busy Not to Pray.  I read this just over a year ago and began an adventure of daily prayer that, this past week, marked 365 continuous days of devotions.

Hard to believe!

I've been a Christian for a long time but in only two periods of my life did prayer become real for me.  First, when I was in college, my prayer life was quite vibrant and alive.  Now as a result of reading Hybels' book, I'm thankful that I've hit another patch of spiritual consistency.

God gets the credit.

My previous post documented what I learned from only three weeks of prayer.  Little did I know that we would be here, one year later to report on this "spiritual experiment".  Here are my findings:

  • Simple is good. I've used the ACTS method of prayer and its strength lies in the simple approach to prayer: adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication.

  • The journal is key.  By writing down my prayers and complimenting them with verbal prayers, prayer has become more real for me.  I use a simple .99$ notebook from the grocery store.

  • Flexibility is important. As life has "seasons" when some things work and some things don't, so too does prayer have its moments.  I've had to change up my Scripture reading, times of day and length of journaling depending on how things were going.

  • There is no perfect moment. If you wait for the perfect moment to pray, it won't happen.  It will never be totally quiet and you will never hit an hour in the day when you feel perfectly ready for prayer.  The key as Nike coined years ago, just do it.

  • Prayer is about relationship and communication.  In the beginning, my devotions were something that I wanted to test out.  Then, it became something that I had to work at.  Now, I can't imagine not having a daily time of prayer.  My relationship with God needs good communication and by starting the day with prayer, I'm placing Him first on my list.

  • Prayer is about sabbath. Jesus was very serious about taking time to slow down.  Daily prayer peels off a little bit of sabbath time and inserts it in days other than the sabbath.

Wherever you are in your spiritual life, it's never too late to begin a new season of prayer.  Anyone can do it, it costs nothing and there may be no better use of your time. What are you waiting for?

Here's to another 365 days!  I'd love to know what's working in your devotional life so that prayer is real and alive for you...