Skiing the Slopes of Prayer

We learn from the teachings of Jesus that prayer is expected from a believer.  Understanding that prayer is expected isn’t really enough to get us into the habit of a regular prayer time though.  In order for prayer to become a part of our daily lives, we have to get to the point where we enjoy it.  To be honest, it is hard to enjoy something that we aren’t real sure how to do.

Several years ago I went snow skiing for a week in Colorado.  It was a little better than the ice sledding we did a few nights ago!  The guys I went with convinced me that I didn’t need to go to “ski school” to learn how to ski. They told me that once I got up the mountain they would teach me what I needed to know.  Crazy thing is, I believed them!  Can you see where this is going?  I got on the lift and we rode to the top of the mountain.  Little did I know that the slope to the bottom was 3 1/2 miles long!  (If you’ve never been to Keystone and Breckenridge, you should make that trip!)  They told me to make big “S” turns and then they proceeded to leave me and I was stuck 3 1/3 miles away from my destination. Needless to say, it took me the rest of the day to get to the bottom and I fell more times than I could count on the way down.  At one point, I stopped and sat by a tree and told God, “God, if you will get me down this mountain, I promise I won’t ever come up it again!”  I was so sore that night and the next morning that I told the guys to go to the slope without me.  As I sat in the hot tub of our room, I looked out the window at the incredible landscape of the Rocky Mountains that was surrounding me.  I hadn’t even noticed how beautiful the place was the day before.  It’s hard to notice breathtaking scenery when you are actually struggling to take a breath!  I started watching the people on the slopes skiing and they didn’t look miserable.  In fact, it looked like they were having a blast!  I decided to set aside my frustration and give snow skiing another chance.  I grabbed my ski gear and headed back to the slopes.  I called my buddies and asked them to meet me at the lift.  We went back to the top of the mountain and I got them to slowly teach me once again the things I needed to do.  And then it happened.  I started to actually ski and make turns without falling.  I made it down the hill and it only took me a couple of hours.  I still fell down, but not near as much as I had the day before.  And the next day I went back to the top again and again and again.  By the end of the week, what had taken me an entire day to ski down, now only took me about 7 minutes.  Looking back on that trip, I still remember how frustrated I was, but ultimately I remember that trip as one of the greatest times I’ve ever had in my life.  If I could go back skiing tomorrow, I would in a heartbeat!

Sometimes, prayer can be frustrating.  Don’t give up.  When you think you are saying the same things over and over, don’t fret it.  If it seems like you fall down and miss praying a day or two, don’t chalk it up that you aren’t cut out for praying.  Just keep talking to God and sharing with Him whatever is on your mind or in your heart.
Over the course of this 28 day journey, we are going to be giving you tips and lessons on how to pray.  You might not get it all at first and you might have days where it seems like you fall down on your prayer life.  That’s okay.  If you feel like you don’t know what to say, realize that you are in a conversation with your Heavenly Father who loves you so much and enjoy the breathtaking landscape of just sitting quietly for a few moments in His presence.  It won’t be long before you will enjoy going to the top of the mountain with God again and again and again–
And you will find yourself praying when you wake up.
And when you go to sleep.
And before you eat that meal.
And before you pull out of your driveway.
And before you make that trip.
And before you send that text.
And after bad things happen.
And before bad things happen.
And periodically throughout the day just because you belong to God and you enjoy talking to Him about EVERYTHING!

About randynorris

Randy Norris is the pastor of The Station Church. He is a graduate of The University of Alabama with a degree in Communications and has his M.Div. from Beeson Divinity School. Randy also has his Doctorate of Ministry from The New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Susan, have five children.
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