I did not pray for almost four months. I did not consciously decide to stop praying, I just did.
I was pregnant with my first child, and at 28 weeks I was placed on complete and total bed-rest. I.e., Isolation City. I was very compliant but still I was induced at 36 weeks and my son spent the first week of his life in the NICU. Afterwards they told me not to take him out for two more months.
Translation = four months of Isolation City.
You would think that with all that extra time I would have had dynamic prayer times, but somehow I could not bring myself to pray. Maybe I was angry at God because it had taken me so long to get pregnant and when I finally did, I got preeclampsia. All the other pregnant women I knew could eat whatever they wanted. But me, I am placed on a strict diet, and still gained 75 pounds; 14 of those pounds being gained in just one week. Maybe I was depressed from all the isolation.
In reality the reason itself does not matter, it just matters that I stopped praying.
A few months later I began to pray again, baby steps. At first I just read aloud a prewritten prayer from “The Divine Hours”, a fixed-hour prayer-book. It would take me literally 3 minutes, and it really was a struggle to give those 3 minutes.
But God took those 3 minutes and used them to draw me to Himself.
6 months after I gave birth, I picked up a Bible Study on the book of Acts. If you have ever read Acts, you can guess what happened next. Maybe I subconsciously knew and that is why I choose that particular study.
But let’s just say the Holy Spirit woke me up! It was as if scales fell out of my eyes, and for the first time I was able to REALLY understand the Bible. The more I read, the more I craved to read the Word, I could not get enough.
I remember saying a prayer when I was 12 that went something like this:
“Lord, no matter how far I go, no matter what I do, always bring me back to You. My greatest desire is to follow You.”
And God has been good on His end of the bargain. Once again He brought me back to Himself.
If you are foreign to the concept of personal prayer, don’t worry, God does not despise small beginnings. He will take what you have to give and draw you to Himself. He can use even a 3 minute pre-written prayer to transform a life.
“Of all the seeds it (the mustard seed) is the smallest, but when it has grown it is the largest of the garden herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and find shelter in its branches.” (Matthew 13:32)
The Holy Spirit Unleashed in You (a study on the book of Acts) by Kay Arthur. Note, I did not do the coloring system she recommends, but she really did help me figure out how to study the Bible for myself!
A link to The Divine Hours by Phyllis Tickle: http://annarborvineyard.org/tdh/tdh.cfm
Another great resource for daily scripture and a meditation can be found at: http://www.dailyscripture.net/