Jesus engrave text

, | 12 Jul 2021 | by Doug Mitts

A Life of Prayer

by Doug Mitts

Key Verse: “It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples.””

–  Luke 11:1 NAS95

When it comes to prayer, I need help. Jesus, on the other hand, stands out as the expert on communion with the Father. I always need to learn from Him. He has patience with me, and He continues to teach me to pray, how to listen, and how to be with God.   

My pace of learning to pray feels slow, but I have noticed changes. Initially I just needed to start talking to God. I came up with my grocery list of appropriately defined religious ideas that I thought God might approve. They became routine. Then changes started occurring in what I prayed. A thought occurred, “why don’t you ask God to make you like Jesus?” I wondered, “maybe that’s God speaking.”  I added it to my prayer list. After all, it echoed verses in the Bible. More prayers arose out of the Scriptures as I continued to learn from Jesus. 

Then God showed me the definition of eternal life (John 17:3), knowing God and Jesus though experience with Him. Listening started to slowly become a part of prayer. My understanding of God also started to change. The way I pictured God at the beginning of my life in Christ and how I picture (or rather understand) God now holds no comparison. Wonderful and majestic, near and kind, even lovely and beautiful don’t come near to adequate.   

Two-way interaction with God grew. Jesus was teaching me presence to God in all things. Questions started arising, “what would God desire in this situation, or that?” It had nothing to do with outcomes, but rather how to interact with people, groups, things and situations. As I continued to learn to pray, my soul, my interior, started shaping differently. Old habits transformed to new — even how I prayed. Jesus continued to teach. I saw God’s availability to me as near and present. He initiated with me. Prayer now seemed to originate from His promptings.  

These snapshots (there are many more) of Jesus teaching me to pray over 42 years speak of the reality of God, not as an idea, but as a deeply personal God. My awareness senses God desires to give Himself to me. He did that in Jesus, and now He continues that through interactive prayer. I’m still learning to pray from Jesus, but now I am learning to be with God everywhere for He is the blessing.   

Reflection Verse

In the morning, O LORD, You will hear my voice; in the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.”  

Psalm 5:3 NAS95


Reflection Questions

  • What changes have you noticed in your prayer life over time? 
  • How aware are you of God’s initiative in conversation with you?