Can you learn about prayer while at the gym? I did! Last week, I returned to working out and I began to look at the gym patrons. I noticed everyone in the gym had a common goal (physical fitness), but each person had a different starting point. Some people remained on the tread mill or stationary bikes, focused on their cardiovascular endurance. Others moved from the cardio equipment to focusing on weights, combining cardiovascular strength with muscular definition. Still others focused on weight training only. I did not see anyone pause during their workout and tell someone doing a different type of exercise, “Hey! You are not following my routine, so you are not working out properly.” The environment was supportive and the only sounds of correction were to help someone to work at their optimal fitness level. I know I skipped 365 days of training last year (you can laugh with me), so witnessing this level of support inspired me to keep going to the gym.
I began to think about prayer and how each person is at different stages in communicating with God, just like we are at different fitness levels. Instead of seeing prayer as a chance to grow in our relationship with God, we often feel we aren’t worthy to talk with Him. Sometimes we feel it has been a long time since we have talked to Him and He doesn’t have time to listen. Sometimes we feel we do not pray like other people, so God cannot bear to hear the simplicity in our prayers. Still other times we view prayer as a battle of the fittest: either you can pray or you cannot. What if we stopped comparing our prayers to everyone else’s and simply prayed? What if we stopped making prayer complicated and just started to converse with God daily?
God creates a supportive environment to come to Him, so it is time for us to speak with Him more. God wants prayer to be something we enjoy, not something we do because we have to. He doesn’t expect us to come to Him in any other way than authentically. Some of us are at different stages in prayer, which reminds me of developmental stages. Instead of wanting us to be at a certain level, God understands who we are and allows us to mature during our moments with Him. He sees us as His children and He is always excited to hear our voice! God accepts who we are and He embraces our uniqueness in prayer. Some of us are God’s talkative children: He loves that we feel free to share everything that is on our hearts. He nudges us when He needs to remind us that He has things to share too. Some of us are more reserved children: God has to remind us that it is okay to come to Him about anything. He surrounds us with His love and tells us that we don’t have anything to fear in His presence. Some of us are God’s unique children: We do not feel we fit into the typical mold. God reminds us that there is value in our uniqueness and He accepts this trait in us. He does not want us to compare ourselves to anyone else, just to be comfortable spending time with Him.
Just as we grow physically and developmentally, we also develop spiritually. When we come to God in prayer, Holy Spirit allows us to hear what God is saying. Holy Spirit also helps us to know what to say and reassures us that God wants to speak with us. This means, we do not have to fear messing up or not being strong enough to pray. We simply do it! If you have felt like you could not talk to God or that prayer was too hard, hopefully you are inspired to keep talking to God. Just as we come to the gym to increase our endurance, we can come to God through prayer and develop in our relationship with Him. What are you waiting for? He is waiting to speak with you today!
Today, I will gift the first three readers with a complimentary entry into my seven-day prayer challenge: Your Greatest Conversations with God.
To qualify, respond to today’s questions:
- What is one reason you hesitate to pray?
- How has this article inspired you to communicate with God on a daily basis?