Like many these days, I am praying more often than usual and in so many ways God has used this season of ‘panic’ COVID-19 to pull me into prayer more consistently than I have done for many years.
Yes, God clearly used this time to ‘work out good,’ and bring out good disciplines in my life.
But there has been a change in how I pray. I am now praying more often, but not as long as I used too. These are not extended periods of prayers. They can be short just two to five minutes or sometimes longer.
As well, I have set aside specific times to pray. When the clock strikes 8 am, 12 noon, 4 pm, 8 pm and 12 midnight, these are my designated times to pray. I start first by giving thanks. I often take five slow deep breaths to help clear my mind and slow my thoughts and then I enter into a time of prayer. Sometimes things come up and I miss my time, but I carry on with my schedule.
But something else is also happening and I believe this is from the Holy Spirit. As I enter my prayer time, I often receive images and impressions of people or matters of concern and I believe the Holy Spirit is using these to guide my prayers.
As well, the phrase, ‘Touching heaven, touching earth’ has been impressed on my spirit several times over these past two months.
I stretch a lot during the day because of muscle tightness and one stretch I do repeatedly is raise my hands and stretch them upwards to the ceiling, I take five deep breaths, and then bend low and try to touch my toes, which often is not the result.
A couple weeks ago, while interspersing stretching during my designated time of prayer, I had an image flash across my mind as I stretched my hands and prayed and then bowed down to reach my toes.
In my mind’s eye, I saw lightening from heaven strike the earth.
I immediately sensed this was linked to prayer. As we consistently stretch out our prayers several times through a day, a connection is made, and God responds by touching earth with answers, interventions, provision and blessings.
These past few weeks I have been encouraging friends through a group page on Facebook to pray at different times during the day. I have set out various times for them to choose making it clear that one chosen time during the day adds to the flow and momentum of all the other prayers.
And these prayers don’t have to be long. Two minutes will do.
But as I have consistently maintained this schedule, I have noticed another thing. The Bible talks about an ‘inward groaning’ that takes place as we pray as the Spirit of God joins us in prayer:
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself interecedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people.”Romans 8:26
As I have consistently maintained this short times of prayer schedule, I have experienced an intensity building and rising within me through the day. God is stirring.
“The effective (persistent prevailing) prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”James 5:16
Persistent and prevailing prayer over time, even short ones, creates a connection with God. Maybe God is encouraging you to start praying throughout the day and start your own connection.