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Prayer

Why starting a prayer habit is hard

8.17.2021

Our 2022 spiral prayer journals are now availale for pre-order! If you’ve struggled to make prayer a habit, we hope you feel inspired to try again after reading this post by Kara, our Chief Marketing Officer.

It’s easy to find ourselves discouraged with the state of our prayer lives. We might have been taught the basics of how to pray as a young child (or maybe even not), but find ourselves feeling like it’s not so simple as we grow older. We question ourselves, doubt the efficacy or maybe even just push it aside altogether, hoping it will come easier at some point in the future. But here’s the thing, and I say this with all the compassion in the world as someone who’s been there, prayer isn’t optional. It’s not just for more mature believers or grey-haired ladies, it’s for the mom in the thick of it, the single gal in her 30s, the newly empty-nester, the peppy teen and everyone in between. If you’re a believer, prayer is your life-source.

But if we were created for this, why is it so hard to practice consistently? Here are just a few reasons.

1. WE HAVE AN ENEMY

Okay, get ready for some Scripture. I want you to see this laid out directly from the Word. Ephesians 6:12 says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” You see, Satan knows prayer is powerful. James 2:19 says, “You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!” He shudders at God’s power and James 5:16 says, “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” If Satan can keep you from praying, he keeps God’s power from working through you to the fullest that’s possible through prayer. This makes his job easy. If you’re not praying, you’re holding back God’s work in your life, the lives of your family members, and the world around you. Doesn’t that make you mad? It does me. Let’s fight back!

2. WE FOCUS ON “SEEN THINGS”

Colossians 3:2 says, “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” It is so easy to get caught up in what’s for dinner tonight, if my kids are going to make friends at school, or how I’m gonna lose that last 10 pounds. There’s nothing wrong with these things, but if this is what our lives consist of, we’re missing the point. God gave us good, physical things to enjoy, but there is more at play. How can I foster connection at the dinner table? How am I pointing my kids to Christ? Am I glorifying God with my body? One of the prayers I’ve prayed most is, “God give me your eyes.” I want to see things the way He sees them. When I do, I’m motivated to walk and talk with Him in prayer.

3. WE ARE CONSUMED WITH TECHNOLOGY

Done. That’s the tweet.

But for real, how many hours do we spend on our phones? How many nights do we spend glued to Netflix? I’ve been so convicted lately that the quantity and quality of my time with Him directly correlates to my screen time. Val had this idea to do a challenge where we replace one hour of screen time with one hour of prayer. Whoa, that sounds like a long time, right? But I don’t think twice about spending 3 or 4 hours a day on my phone and even more during certain seasons. Here’s a blog post Val wrote about why she left Instagram. (And if you’re waiting for that challenge, we’re planning on doing it close to when her new book Pray Confidently and Consistently releases!)

4. WE EXPECT IMMEDIATE RESULTS

Alright, I’ve prayed for 15 minutes three days in a row, where’s my answer, God? When we treat prayer as transactional, we’re going to be left disappointed. First of all, because prayer isn’t just about getting what we want. It’s about getting to know the Lord, His heart, and His ways. The Adoration and Scripture page in our journal is for centering our hearts on Him, the primary focus of prayer. Prayer is also about having our own hearts and character shaped more into what He wants us to be. Prayer can and does change our circumstances, but it’s always in His time and way. You may receive a clear answer in a matter of days, months, years… or the Lord may change your heart to be more receptive to His own plan.

5. WE DON’T HAVE A CONCRETE PLAN

As Val said, “If I go to the gym without knowing what I’m going to do, I sit at a machine for 15 minutes scrolling my phone. I’ve committed to working out but a plan helps me actually use the time I’ve set aside.” Our prayer journals have become that much-needed plan for so many people’s prayer lives. It’s a place for your eyes to land, a tool to remind you of what’s on your heart, and a record of how God is actually working.

I cannot describe how life-changing this journal has been for me! Purposeful prayer and tracking answered prayers has improved the quality of my prayer life exponentially. I never want to be without one. I’m a lifetime VMP journal user!
-Jessica M.

Our 2022 prayer journals recently became available for pre-order! You have two journal options in three beautiful colors each! We encourage you to choose one today while they’re 20% off as a commitment to finally pray consistently in this coming year.

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Rhythms Prayer Journal

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Signature Prayer Journal

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Until August 24th, we’re offering a special launch price for each journal. You also have the option of purchasing the journal in a bundle with our online prayer course, Developing a Fluency in Prayer. While the journal gives you an organized and focused space to pray, the course was created to get you actually praying with confidence. The bundle includes a physical workbook and is basically like getting our course on sale AND the journal for free!

If you’re not sure whether our Rhythms Prayer Journal or Signature Prayer Journal would be best for you, take a quick quiz right here.

If this blog post really struck a chord with you, you are going to love Val’s new book coming October 12, Pray Confidently and Consistently. This is brand new content that dives deeper into the specific weights that hold us back from prayer and how to practically overcome them. It’s available for pre-order now!

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