Have you bought into the lie that genuine prayer has to be spontaneous?
Reading through Don Carson’s excellent A Call to Spiritual Reformation, with a friend eight years ago, was one of those paradigm shifting experiences. Essentially Carson unpacks Paul’s prayers in the New Testament and lets them blow your mind with the God-centred content of what Paul prays and what he encourages churches to pray. For me it was a wake-up call to let my prayers be shaped by what God is doing in the world.
But at the start of the book Carson also has a very practical chapter called ‘Lessons from the School of Prayer’. The first one was this: “Much praying is not done because we do not plan to pray”. Boom. It was a stinging rebuke to my “Spontaneous prayer is surely more spiritual” kinda attitude. If I don’t plan to pray, I probably won’t.