The Practice Prayer

Fine Tuning Your Prayers Requires Evaluating Your Prayers, First

by Christie Perkins

A practice prayer may look a little like this!What are your prayers like?

Check.  Yep, my morning prayers come as a little check mark on my to do list.  It’s a bad habit, really.  It’s a bad habit because the prayer is insincere.  It can be quick.  But, sometimes it’s insanely long.

I find my mind scuttling around in my to-do list.  It replays funny moments from yesterday.  And it dwells on, and hashes out, current frustrations.  It even wanders over to planning out the day’s outfit.  And sometimes it’s replaying scenes from a movie or dream.

And my eyes flash open.  I’m praying about this?  The prayer’s not pretty.  And I end up finding myself talking, not to God, but to myself.

Go ahead- judge me.  Diagnose me with some crazy explanation for my behavior.  Call it whatever you want.  But I call it my practice prayer.

Sifting Out the Unnecessary Parts of Prayer

I say practice prayers a lot.  I check it off the list, then move on.  But, by mid-morning I find myself unsatisfied with my connection to God.  Something feels amiss (uh,you think?).  So, this is where I actually get my real prayer in.

Afterall, I’m already in the shirt/pant combo deal and my dreams have evaporated to… who knows where? And I’m well on my way with my daily trudging.  I’ve had time to ponder, wander, and launder clothes.  But, I am also more focused on my needs.  I’ve spent time rethinking, replanning, and reevaluating what I really want from life.

And all of this helps me to be prepared with my real prayer.  All of this sifting through stuff in my head helps.  This practice prayer is just tossing out the unnecessary, meaningless, thoughts and getting right down to the important things.  It actually helps me spiritually find what I am looking for.

Real Prayers are Heartfelt But All Prayers Are Counted

I like my practice prayer because I’m left unsatisfied and wanting something more.  So, it’s back to my knees and this time it’s not all in the head, but there’s a whole lot of heart added to it.

And that is truly when I see the power of prayer.  And there is power because I’m spilling out my guts to the guy who knows how to help me.  And when He sees I want it bad enough to work for it in a heartfelt prayer, He sends his daily little miracles.  Yes, daily.  You have to look for them.

I have one question that I ask myself often: Do you even remember what you prayed for?  If you do you will see the miracles.  If you don’t remember, it’s harder to see the hand of God in your life.

I have never recognized answers to prayer that were from a practice prayer.  But, it doesn’t mean He hasn’t answered them.  I just haven’t recognized them.  And I know it’s because my heart wasn’t involved.  It’s difficult to feel and recognize answers that were thoughtless to begin with.

My practice prayer gets me results.  It gets me there because it’s messy, imperfect, and wanting for more.  It’s the tool that refines the next prayer.

Put a little heart into it.  But, if you must, say a practice prayer first.  Then be grateful and show that you care about how His hand has shaped your life.  By recognizing His hand it shows that you appreciate what He has done for you.  It also dismisses the fact that you are only interested in the words you speak to him.  Look for the answers.  He is listening and waiting to bless you.

I promise!


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5 thoughts on “The Practice Prayer

  1. Simple heartfelt prayers can work miracles in our lives. As we focus on what is truly important and strive to humble ourselves and prepare for our daily communion with our Heavenly Father WE are blessed! Great job Christie!

  2. I love this Christie! I can so relate. I have many “practice prayers”! Many times I find myself mentally tying my arm behind my back, and getting back on my knees to pour out my “forgotten” gratitude. Many times I get so busy asking for what I consider “righteous” desires, that I forget to pour out my “heartfelt” gratitude for even the small things, that are miracles in themselves. Or… I forget to thank Him for my trials that help me to grow as a mother, grandmother, but above all, a “Daughter of God”. I love you “Miss Perky”! Have a “Blessed Day”! xoxo

    • Elaine, I have “forgotten” gratitude too sometimes. It’s so easy to ramble about “me” and forget everything He’s done for us. Great insight. Thanks for sharing. And, thank you! I will have a “blessed day”- you have one too! 🙂

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