I grew up singing these lines in Sunday school:

Read your Bible, pray every day, and you’ll grow, grow, grow. And you’ll grow, grow, grow. And you’ll grow, grow, grow. Read your Bible, pray every day, and you’ll grow, grow, grow. 

These lines can have a moralistic ring to it as though real Christians are the ones that read their Bible daily and make time to pray, the rest of us who are less consistent are somehow less than. I try to carve out devotional time, but I miss days and sometimes play catch-up. I pray every day, but often in a haphazard, occasional way. Something comes up and I pray about it. Other days I have a time set aside to spend with God. Those are the good days, but my practice is not perfect.

But let me share something I am learning about daily prayer: doing it daily makes it easier. Have you ever let the pots and pans pile up from the weekend and then you go to do the dishes, and it suddenly a much bigger job? Or one I am dealing with right now is weeding. I have a garden plot that fell into disuse, and I have spent hours pulling weeds, turning the soil, and trying to get it ready for kale, zucchini, and tomatoes. And I am not there yet! Once my garden is in, weed management becomes much easier. I will already be there watering and tending the plants, harvesting lettuce and herbs every day. Pulling weeds will become just a thing to do when I am out there already and not something that requires heroic effort.

Prayer is like that. Do you find it difficult to pray? Does God feel distant? Do you long for a deeper, more satisfying prayer life? We all go through seasons where prayer feels less easy and we wonder where God is, but as we learn the habit of daily prayer it becomes less work and more enjoyable. We have more time to water and tend and harvest the things which God has planted in our lives. Daily does not have to mean drudgery. By establishing intentional routines, we get to experience all God has in store for us. And we grow, grow, grow.

Pastor James