This morning my pastor challenged our church to be more of a people of prayer using Ephesians 3:14-21 as a call to intercede for each other and ourselves. The text itself is a prayer the apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesian believers. I personally was challenged by the call from our pastor and intend to pray the Ephesian prayer for my bishop, pastor, and family. But when?
Let's face it, we live in a busy world and many times we have good intentions that never come to fruition. Our spiritual life is no different. As important as communion with the Savior is, many of us let our days, weeks, even months slip by without praying.
I have found that the spiritual life must be disciplined and intentionally cultivated if I am to make any progress in sanctification. We read in the New Testament the followers of Christ went to the temples at certain hours to pray. The Book of Common Prayer has personal and family devotions based on these hours of prayer called the Daily Office. There is morning, noon, early evening, and compline (right before bed). These serve as excellent tools for personal or family worship.
A cool aspect of using the Daily Office for prayer and worship is that all around the world, there are other believers following the same biblical format. There is a power in unity. What an excellent thought that you are worshiping and praying the psalms with personal prayers to God along with believers worldwide!
Now I rarely get to pray the Daily Office at all four times, but I do pray at least one on a regular basis. This works well with my busy work schedule. I work rotating shifts consisting of two weeks on days and two weeks on nights. I also make sure to spend quality time with my family. The Daily Office helps me maintain a disciplined prayer life. This is not the only way to discipline one's prayer life, but I believe it to be an excellent one and effective at that. What practices or tools do you have to ensure you are growing in Christ?
Cast your burden on the LORD, and He will sustain you; He will never permit the righteous to be moved. - Psalm 55:22