You Should Pray. Every Day.
Do you ever feel a nag that you should be addressing something in your life? Like eating better or exercising? Do you tell yourself that you’ll get to that stuff later on, when you have more time or money? Or maybe you’ve finally realized that that kind of thinking doesn’t work. You know you need to make choices today to invest in your health and wellbeing. But if so, are you still ignoring the one area of life that dictates the rest? It’s not exercise, it’s not diet, and it’s not your relationship with your grandma. It’s called spirituality.
We all deal with the things of the spirit every day. But the way we deal with those things differs vastly. No matter what your beliefs are, ignoring spirituality is at your own peril.
Why acknowledge spirituality at all?
Acknowledging spirituality is a way of saying that the world doesn’t revolve around us. If we don’t believe that, then we are headed towards a painful reality check. But for those who are aware that the world does not revolve around them, we realize that there are other forces at work.
Clearly these forces need to be greater than us. Otherwise we could learn them, master them, and control them, and then the world would indeed revolve around us. Some people get pretty far with that, but in the end they have to pay the piper and it is costly.
Life, the universe, and everything
So, if we can reach the understanding that there are forces greater than us in the universe. We need to approach the matter in humility. We need to acknowledge that we are not as powerful as those forces, and we want to live in harmony with them. But what’s behind these mysterious forces?
On the other end of the spectrum, there is a benevolent God who loves us and is reaching right back towards us. He’s saying, “I want to get to know you, I want to share my secrets with you, and I want to partner with you to see My Kingdom established on Earth.” How do I know this? What qualifies me to tell of such far-out mysteries? The only credential I have is experience. I experience a relationship with God, thus I know Him, thus I know about Him, thus I can tell others about it.
To ignore spirituality is costly. And to not ignore spirituality requires faith. God wouldn’t have it any other way. Yet He’s a God who wants to help you, and cares about your wellbeing.
We’re His children, not His victims
Everyone is familiar with the idea of crying out to God for help in times of need, whether you believe in God or not. The problem with crying out to God only when it’s an emergency is that He gets to experience our relationship only as us being the victim. But His desire is to experience our relationship as His beloved children.
Moreover, He already sent His Son to be the victim for us. When we talk to Him as victims, we’re showing Him that we don’t acknowledge the most costly price ever paid in the history of the universe. That price was God’s only Son traded for us.
A Daily Private Victory
Most people would agree that young children need daily interaction with their parents. Maybe you can skip a day here or there because of summer camp or a sleepover, but for the most part, kids are supposed to see their parents every day. And if we’re God’s children, who do we walk through a daily relationship with Him?
It starts by daily acknowledging Him with our conscious mind. And yes, using words helps. Acknowledging God causes us to also acknowledge the terms of our relationship. He’s invisible – but that doesn’t mean He isn’t present. He’s doesn’t talk – but that doesn’t mean that He isn’t speaking to us. That’s just the way He set it up.
The terms of this relationship also require intentional time. You can’t spend time with God without using up your time. Duh. But giving Him your time (which was given to you by Him to begin with) shows that you value Him. Valuing God with your conscious mind causes you to direct your life in pursuit of Him and the things of God with your unconscious mind.
This process is called “prayer.” It’s an opportunity to petition God with the things that are on your heart, but also to spend time with Him and listen to Him. And I feel the need for it every day. And every morning, it’s a battle to get through my prayer time. But it’s a battle worth fighting. And once I’m done praying – I have the feeling of spiritual victory. It’s great to feel that every day.
It’s Our Job
There’s only one Higher Power that’s worth submitting your life to. It isn’t an issue of religion or piety, it’s simply a matter of justice.
God made you and gave you the free will to submit yourself to whatever you want. Then He sent His only Son to die for us so we can come back to Him. He already paid for us, and there’s no customer service department that’s going to deliver us to Him – that’s our job. Do it daily.
The term “daily private victory” comes from Stephen Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” Do you have a spiritual daily private victory? Let me know in the comments below!