Do you often end up separating your career and daily activities from your spiritual life?
Do you find yourself working in the midst of so much confusion that, many times, you don't feel as if you are able to easily recollect your heart in the presence of God?
Are your distractions so intense that God often appears far away?
Why does this happen?
Why is it that we often lose the knowledge of God's presence during the day and live with a kind of spiritual schizophrenia?
Well, the explanation is probably fairly simple. Whenever we react in a fleshly manner to the various providences that God puts before us; whenever we are temperamental, rash, impatient, restless, self-willed, letting circumstances make us depressed or angry, and given over to our tyrannical passions, we can almost always trace it back to one foundational reason: prayerlessness.
As Christians we now live in a very fast-paced world that is filled with distractions. Some may use this as an excuse for their lack of prayer, but instead this is a good argument why we should spend more time in daily prayer in the presence of our Lord. The more responsibility thrust upon us and the more complicated a life we have, the more time we should spend in God's presence. The state of entire daily renunciation of self-will for God's will can only happen when we are disciplined to take at least an hour out of our time to confess, praise, intercede and come before God in earnest supplication. When we come before Him in this humble posture, then, in conforming to His will, we are enabled, through grace, to die to our self-exertion, opinions, preferences, tastes and will; die to the world, its approval and censure, die to the approval and blame of brethren and friends and instead be content to be approved unto God alone. We come to God for grace to change ourselves and the world we touch. In other words, the grace of God sovereignly dispensed through prayer gives us great help in our growth in holiness (deliverance from the self-centered life). Then, as we go into the joys and disappointments of each day we know the presence of God even in the most trifling of duties and can more easily recollect ourselves in His presence. We then become God-centered people, which gives us the power to be others-centered. This type of spirituality is desperately needed as we daily enter into a secularized world that has practically and effectively removed God from the public square. The light of God's glory will reflect from the face of a saint who is long on his knees and the world will take notice.
For a simple suggestion as to how we can counteract the lack of spirituality in our daily life. I cannot recommend time in secret prayer too highly. Do not neglect it. Right now, if you don't do this already, you must here and now set aside a significant daily time that you will be alone with God. Without it, you are not even doing ¼ of what God could use you for in advancing His kingdom in this life. You are missing out on what the Christain life is all about. A prayerless life is not dependent on God and is thus of very little use to Him in our daily warfare.
If you get distracted in prayer, no need to get frustrated... just turn again to our merciful and understanding God… don't give up trying. Perhaps even try praying out loud... I find this to be of tremendous help.
Below, in order to help in this process I am including a list of possible things to pray for. I do not include the list for verbatim prayer, but rather for you to glance at concepts that can gently remind you of the direction you may want to go in prayer. These are merely helps that will set your heart and mind on important principles wherein we need to grow in grace. As we pray through these ideas the Holy Spirit will guide and inspire you to deeper places that you may personally need to change and grow. Do not see this list as law but as direction and a means of thrusting your thoughts away from distraction and self-absorption towards our gracious and merciful Heavenly Father. Hopefully you find something of use here that you can take with you before the Lord. Deeply work through these slowly and throughtfully. Some of the prayers are my own while others are "plagiarized" but I may not have given a source. May the Lord greatly bless and multiply the use of these prayers to His glory:
God, enable me to die to all my personal opinions, preferences, tastes and self-will. Teach me by your Spirit to die to the world and my need for approval and die to the fear of its censure, but rather, to fear only You, seeking my approval from you alone. Deliver me from my biased and self-centeredness and focus my heart and mind as I come before you in prayer.
Lord, I am willing
To receive what you give;
To lack what you withhold;
To relinquish what you take;
To suffer what you inflict;
To be what you require.
Thank you Lord that, in spite of myself that I can come into your presence to find grace and mercy in my time of need. (Lord, I Consciously and deliberately enter Your presence, not on my own merit but through the merit and finished work of Christ alone… I Acknowledge my sinfulness – (confess specific and known sins --- pleading Jesus’ precious blood) – Thank You Lord for opening the way by Your perfect fulfillment of God’s Holy Law so that I can freely enter into God’s presence as an adopted son and call Him Abba Father. (Whatever your heart may accuse you of, turn unto God through Christ who has purchased your redemption, forgiven you and made you fully loved and acceptable in His sight. Acknowledging that you justly deserve God's wrath, yet thank God that all of His just wrath has been poured out on Jesus instead and there is no condemnation for you. He came not for the righteous but sinners, like me, and laid down His life for all who would believe.)
Lord, as I come before You, free me from my prejudices and from my hardened biased heart… I am naturally inclined to evil but, I pray, supernaturally work in me a new set of holy affections… that my prayers would be in conformity and be agreeable to Your holy will. Holy Spirit fill me with Yourself and assist me in my weakness. Pray through me that all I say may be acceptable in Your sight.