Prayer napkins–and other things that might help us pray

Do you ever get ideas that you don’t know where you’re going with when you think them? I do. Sometimes I need to lay them aside, hoping they will grow into something I can understand in the future. That’s where this prayer napkin idea comes in. I was going somewhere with it, but I’ve forgotten where. Now it only confuses me.

Do you identify with this problem when it comes to your prayer life? You start out with keen determination to pray and put all your desires before God, but within a matter of minutes (or long yawns), you’ve run out of steam. You wonder why you thought this was such a good idea in the first place. It seems only reasonable to surmise that you’re just not made to be compatible with prayer. Perhaps you’re not even very compatible with God. If you were, would it be this hard?

But, perhaps the question is not would it be this hard if God and I were truly compatible? but, what does it take for God and I to grow in our compatibility? If you think about it, no relationship begins with instantly deep compatibility. There may be grounds for great compatibility, but two people must commit themselves to developing that compatibility over time. If they choose not to, there is still the promise of enjoyment and benefit in relationship, but no experience to authenticate it. It can be no less with God.

God is asking us to enter into a relationship with Him that will grow with time and patience. It will not hit its apex tomorrow. It does not need to. He is asking you to exercise prayer to develop your connection with Him, but He promises to give us grace for this connection to become real to us.

If you have grand expectations that involve you and God experiencing fireworks every time you call His name in prayer, you may consider it is possible that this is not God’s goal for you–at least not one that will be fully realized today. Yes, there are great joys in knowing God, but sometimes we forget that you need to get to know Him before the joy of knowing Him can come. It’s a simple matter of sequence.

If you want the kind of fireworks you’re used to, maybe you should be looking somewhere else. But, if you want to find a fire-like joy well up within you and rival anything you’ve ever known before, put in the work of seeking God so that you can know Him…a little more every day.

You’ll find it’s worth it, whether you put in five minutes or ten. Start where you are and ask Him to come be with you as you are. While you’re together, ask Him to grow your hunger so that you will want more and more of Him as time goes by. That’s a prayer that doesn’t need a special napkin or any kind of wizardry to make Him answer.


Merriam-Webster: he’s definition: he is.

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