The Habit of Prayer
It is impossible to over estimate the importance of prayer in a disciple's life. Prayer is absolutely essential for us to live lives that please God. As a result, it becomes vitally important that we create and maintain a habit of regular prayer in our lives. When we observe the lives of the great men and women of God who went before us, it becomes evident that the common theme in their lives was their undying dedication to prayer. In the same way, we must also cultivate a habit of prayer in our lives.
In the book "The Hidden life of Prayer", author David McIntyre points out three essential items we need in order to make daily prayer a habit: a quiet place, a quiet heart and a quiet hour.
A Quiet Place
The Lord Jesus when he taught his disciples to pray told them to go into an inner room to pray. Prayer was meant to be done in secret. This instruction was diametrically opposed to the practice of the religous leaders of the day who would often pray long prayers in public to garner as much attention as possible and to display their piety. The Christian's prayer must not be like this, it must be in secret, with only God our Father as the audience. For this to happen, we must have a quiet secluded place to pray.
A Quiet Heart
Once we have approached God in the quiet place, it becomes essential that we must quiet our hearts before him. In other words we must clear our mind of all distractions and meditate only on God. Every praying Christian will attest to the fact that this is easier said than done. The moment we get ready to pray all the tasks that we have to do will come rushing at us like a pack of wolves. One way to overcome this is to begin our prayer time by reading God's Word. This gives our mind something to focus on and not drift.
A Quiet Hour
We must make time for prayer. There is no other way about it. In today's busy life it is difficult to set apart time to pray but we cannot afford not to do so. When we give God time it must not be the last few minutes of our day before we sleep when we are exhausted. God deserves more than our left overs when it comes to time. We must give him the very best time of our day. There is a huge benefit to setting your alarm a little earlier than normal if it means you can spend some time in prayer before you start the day.
If you don't yet have a habit of prayer in your life, it is not too late to start. You can start today, and before long you will be like the psalmist eagerly desiring the hour of prayer for your soul to be refreshed. In prayer, we enter the Holy of Holies, it is not a chore but a delight.