Will this sound a bit arrogant? Or instructive? But... I suggest.. only suggest. That’s my way of putting words. I remember Bee Gees who sang a song ‘Words’.... which said, 'words are all I have to take your heart away’. So, I wish to suggest a conerstone of prayer-life: that we setup a daily schedule to pray.
I have looked at the habit of prayer very closely and found out that it is very important to slice out a fixed time for prayer. The Bible points out many people who have done this. Daniel is a typical example. When he was going to be in the den of lions, we read Daniel thus: three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before. Many may call it a routine, others may call it a custom and still others may dismiss it as a mundane job. However, I will call Daniel’s scheduling, a neat and systematic approach to building a worshipful relationship with God.
Prayer gives-up all its meaning when we force it upon ourselves as an obligation. Prayer further gives-up its glory and grace when we just ‘say’ a prayer. I believe, prayer cannot be said. Prayer can only be spoken and listened.
Personal solitary prayer is our very own conversation with God. Hence, adding a new colour, a new sound, and a new setting to our daily personal solitary prayer is easy. Often, we can totally change our attitude to prayer by imbibing a new style of worship. It does not mean that our old methods were all wrong or ineffective. It only tells us to make a change... a change to break the common and the regular.
It is proved that setting up a special private place to pray improves our prayer-life. I have felt it very much true. From the working table, as I move to a special prayer table, my ability to pray has improved. The reason may be that there are lesser elements to distract me in an exclusive prayer space than in a general space. We see this very much in the Bible. In Exodus 33, we see a Moses who separates himself and moves to an exclusive tent to meet God. Solitary prayer in a new setting was important for Jesus too: many palaces in St. Mark and in the rest of the gospels, we see Jesus slipping away from the crowd and his disciples to lonely places to pray.
Can we find a solitary space in our little days to call God?
Solitary prayer forms the heart of worship in a prayer lover’s life. There is no doubt on that!!
If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you…. Exodus (NIV)