When Daniel learned that the document had been signed, he went into his house. The windows in its upper room opened toward Jerusalem, and three times a day he got down on his knees, prayed, and gave thanks to his God, just as he had done before. Daniel 6:10
We are currently in Iceland and the church has asked us to share what we are learning. The following is what I shared.
Have you ever felt like you didn’t want to pray because you don’t want to be reminded of all the needs and discouraging things around you? I admit, sometimes I feel this way. I want to be happy and sometimes the most important things I need to talk to God about are not happy things. But I read the above scripture and I thought of two things:
1. Daniel thanked God.
2. Daniel prayed often.
If ever I feel like prayer is a burden, I have decided to have a new tactic: spend time just thanking God. When I look at some of the letters, it’s amazing to see how often Paul spent time just thanking God for the different people in his life.
I’m also coming to realize I want to pray more often. I know I should pray more often but thinking that I “should” do something just feels like a burden to me. So I’m reframing my idea of prayer into something I want to do.
I recently read an article on how to create new habits. One of the things I found interesting is it said to start small. They used an example of someone wanting to run everyday. The goal wasn’t to run a few times a week. The goal was to merely put on her running shoes everyday.
The next step was to anchor this goal to something. She chose to anchor it to her coffee routine. As soon as she would turn on the coffee pot, she would put on her running shoes. If I remember the story right, she didn’t run at all in the first week but did have coffee in her running shoes every morning.
These aren’t major epiphanies but the by-product of being more grateful and praying more will be a happy and faithful life. One of a person described in Jeremiah 17. I was grateful when my husband reminded me of this scripture.
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”