“So do you like pray a lot?” Jesse asked.
“No,” I answered.
“Yeah,” he said slowly. “You know there are people who are like, ‘I’m a prayer warrior.’ But what does that really mean? And who are you to say that?”
It was one of those moments that reminded me how awkward I can make people feel. I don’t mean to, but it happens.
I didn’t know how Jesse would respond. He was in a lot of my classes (in Christian college), and part of me didn’t want him to think less of me. But I didn’t want to lie. And at that time, I didn’t pray a lot.
I’m sorry, Jesse, if I put you in an awkward position. But thank you for not saying something judgmental or telling me tips on how to improve my prayer life.
Praying is important. And I say that not standing on a soapbox, nor as a leeway into those tips on improving your prayer life. I say that as a person who’s making her way back into a prayer life. And this is what I learned.
It doesn’t matter how long you pray. It doesn’t matter what time you pray. It doesn’t matter if the time you pray is consistent (like every morning at 5). It doesn’t matter if you kneel, stand, sit, pray out loud or quietly.
I made my way back into my prayer life through writing in a prayer journal, usually in my bed, on my stomach, and at different hours of the day or night. Sometimes I pray for a long time, sometimes so short I feel like I’m wasting paper.
Prayer is communicating with God, and as always, with God, it’s our hearts that count (1 Samuel 16:7). Like in Luke 18:9-14, the Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector. The tax collector was justified before God because his heart was in the right place.
Our hearts matter. Maybe you pray like Hannah, long and persistent (1 Samuel 1). Or maybe like the tax collector, with only one sentence. Maybe you have a routine, or maybe you don’t. Maybe you pray kneeling down or you pray in your car during morning commute. Maybe you love hours of intercession prayer meetings, or maybe only 45 minutes of it.
God looks at our hearts. As long as your heart is in the right place, then your prayer life, your passion for prayer – however it looks – will be right with God.