Every Wednesday we’ll post something to do with doctrine and recovery. Hope it helps.
Anyone who’s tried writing can attest to the frustration of Writer’s Block. It happens when you sit your body in front of the computer, but your mind floats someplace else, refusing to put the harness on and get the flow going. It won’t enter in, and until it does, you stare at the screen, get up and down, play an online game, whatever. Volumes have been written about it, and plenty of despairing would-be authors lap up any advice they can get on how to beat the beast and make those first few paragraphs happen.
I’ll bet all of us who pray can likewise attest to the frustration of Prayer’s Block. We know prayer is basic to any serious disciple, so we sit ourselves down at the altar with the best intentions, but our minds float someplace else. For me, hindrance to prayer has been one of the most challenging parts of spiritual life, one that I almost gave up on until I found a simple way to enter into the Holy of Holies and stay put for a while. It only takes a few minutes, but it works for me: Recall, Recognize, Rejoice.
Jesus warned, regarding prayer, that the spirit was willing but the flesh weak. (Mt. 26:41)No problem understanding that one – when I set myself to pray, I’m not necessarily in a praying mood. So it starts with a simple recall of who God is; something like this:
Ok, I come to You now and remember you’re my Father (Mt. 6:9)
My Redeemer (Psalms 19:14)
My Good Shepherd (I Peter 2:25)
My Healer (Exodus 15:26)
My Provider (Philippians 4:19)
My Great High Priest (Hebrews 4:14)
When I say that slowly, and concentrate on what I’m saying, my mind gets roped in, my heart quickens, everything comes alive and sets itself more naturally to prayer and praise. The first hurdle is crossed.
“Forget not all His benefits”, David reminds us (Psalms 103:2) and that works, too. Because once I’ve remembered who God is, I can’t help but recognize that what He is has affected who I am. Remembering His benefits, even in a quick, general mental review, deepens my focus and softens my heart in the worst of times. All it takes is a few recognitions:
You chose me before the world was created (Ephesians 1:4)
You redeemed me (I Peter 1:18-19)
You forgave me so many rebellions (I Peter 2:25)
You’ve protected me from my own stupidity (Isa. 53:6)
You’ve showered me with so much good on me that I don’t deserve (Psalms 116: 12-13)
You never give up on me (Philippians 1:6)
You can fill in plenty of your own, I’m sure, but I think you get the idea. Recognize specifically what He’s done for you, in both the tangible and the eternal. It gets the motor going nicely.
Well, that comes easily after the first two. It’s a genuine rejoicing I feel when I recall the nature of God then recognize the countless, sometimes outright ridiculous ways He pours favor and mercy over me like vintage maple syrup on a most undeserving old waffle. And from that position of joy, I can take David’s advice and enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise. (Psalms 100:4) After just a few minutes of recall and recognition, I’m ready for some serious prayer.
Try this out if Prayer’s Block has been stifling your prayer time, and see how it fits. I can pretty much guarantee it will, and I’d love to hear how it works for you. Have a great day.