A number of years ago I realized that I had so many interests that I would fail to do anything super well because I was to fragmented. I needed to do some serious cutting out of my life some activities so I could be successful in one or two areas. I decided to write a purpose statement for my life that would zero in on what I wanted to accomplish. I came up with this; “I will be a man devoted to prayer, and I will convince as many others to be devoted to prayer as I can.” I am sure that if I want to accomplish the maximum possible in my lifetime this is the route I need to go.
So the first part of my purpose statement I have been accomplishing fairly well. I spend about an hour praying every day, and I have seasons where I spend up to 8 hours praying, usually during our church’s 5 day prayer events four times a year. I struggle with the discipline of prayer like everyone else. I fall asleep while praying, my mind wanders over to fishing or hunting, I get bored, and it becomes a grind to stay at it faithfully. The thing that helps my private prayer life stay alive and energized is the corporate prayer times that I attend during the week and then these quarterly 5 days of prayer that go 10 hours each day really launch me into a prayer attitude and faithfulness.
The second part of my life purpose of convincing as many other people as possible to become devoted to prayer has been less successful and at times down right discouraging. I get so much “push back” from people who are wanting to justify their own lack of prayer, and to get me to quit making them feel guilty for their less than fully devoted prayer life.
I am convinced that my struggle is not really with people, but with the demons that follow them everywhere they go or riding on their shoulders. These demons know that they can’t stay connected to people who pray more than token prayers so they talk non-stop to them with all the reasons and excuses why being devoted to prayer is for others, especially corporate prayer. They hear them in their own thoughts which they think are their own thoughts and wisdom coming right straight from them.