Duty to Delight

One of my strong beliefs is that most of what are called Spiritual Disciplines never become a part of most people’s lives because they don’t understand this principle of “Duty to Delight”. Prayer is one of the very important spiritual disciplines. Most people would agree that they don’t pray near enough because of business,forgetfulness, apathy, and lack of faith. So here is how “Duty to Delight” works. You begin with a goal or commitment to a set amount of time for prayer each day. Let’s make it 30 minutes each day. You establish a prayer notebook with needs for all the people in your life and in your church. You also pick a spot that is going to be your “prayer closet” Share the goal with a few close friends who agree to hold you accountable and commit to checking at least weekly how you are doing. Now it is important that you work very hard to keep your commitment, that you are faithful, responsible, and responsive to those holding you accountable. This is the “dry as dirt duty” stage. You will say things like,”I don’t want to pray because someone is holding me accountable, or I was so tired that I got nothing out of it so why do it?” What we want is the “Delight” stage, where we enjoy praying very much, it is such a part of our life that we don’t have to make ourselves do it. The problem is that the “Delight” stage doesn’t happen until we have been in the “Duty” stage for awhile. If you don’t persevere during this first stage you stay right there, and never grow into a passionate pray warrior. It is very much like our kids when they were little taking piano lessons and practicing everyday. They would whine and fuss about having to practice, but today they love to play and they are very good at it. It took a few years of “dry as dirt duty” piano practice, but today the piano is a delight.

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