Review. On August 10, I started creating daily challenge posts as part of the Writing Life Challenge. I wanted to encourage people to spend time in prayer and in God’s word each day, but simply telling people what I do didn’t seem to be the way to do it. This challenge was born instead, and has (for me) taken on a life of its own—it has become a study. The challenge comes in when someone chooses to take the time to do it. Each day so far, the study/challenge has asked us to look at a different aspect of prayer:
Day 1: Thankfulness & Prayer
Day 2: Praise & Prayer
Day 3: Watchfulness & Prayer (my favorite so far!)
Day 4: Devotion & Prayer
Day 5: How to Pray
Day 6: Who to Pray For
Day 7: What to Pray For
Day 8: When to Pray
Day 9: Where to Pray (a close second favorite!)
Today’s Challenge. Did you catch that? If you’ve been following along on the challenge posts, I usually put “Today’s Inspiration” before the challenge. But today, putting the challenge first felt natural. That’s because I’m sure, if you read the review, you know what question we’re asking today: Why should I pray?
Earlier in the challenge, I suggested an answer to this already: We pray because prayer is the way we communicate with God. We can’t get to know someone unless we communicate with them in some way, and God has given us prayer as a means to come to know him. God wants us to come to him with everything—nothing is too small (or too big!) for us to take to him in prayer. But if you look at the question above, it’s a personal one, written in the first person. It’s Why should I pray, not we. Another question we could ask here—perhaps more appropriate, depending on your own heart—is Why do I pray?
Your challenge today, then, is to choose the version of the question you’d like to explore: Why should I pray? or Why do I pray? Pray asking for guidance, for understanding, and for God to reveal your own heart to you, and then go on a search. Look for reasons from the Bible God tells us to pray. These may tell you why you should pray (a good question to ask if you don’t pray on a regular basis), or they may tell you what needs to change or continue in your personal prayer life (if this is already a practice of yours). I found two good resources to help you begin your search if you’re not sure where to begin: “Prayer has its Reasons” by Focus on the Family, and a blog that addresses most of the questions we’ve been asking for the past several days, “Why, When, and How Should We Pray” posted by FaithGateway.
Today’s Participation. To participate and become a part of an online community of believers encouraging each other to continue in and grow in our faith in Jesus—even if it’s only a community of you and me (there has been low participation so far, but that’s okay)—post a reason you do (or do not) pray in the comments below. If you did the challenge, post something about what you learned, too—and whether you think anything should change in your prayer life as a result. Alternatively (my favorite method), you could create an Instagram post using the hashtag #writinglifeaugustchallenge and visualize a reason to pray (I have to be your Instagram friend—@rhondalorraineblog—or your account has to be public for me to see it, though). I participate, so search for my answers using my handle or hashtag on Instagram, too!
Today’s Inspriation. Today’s inspiration continues to come to us from Colossians 4:2:
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. (NIV)