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Walking the Path You Pray

Issue 20
Is Prayer Practical?

Sandie Higley
Sep/Oct  2000

Theme Introduction

Here is a universally human truth: If we think something is truly worthwhile, we will be more likely to do it. If we don't think of it as beneficial, it will drop to the bottom of our "to do" list.

On a scale of 1 to 10, where would you rate prayer in your life? Let's say that 1 = little importance and 10 = great importance. Where would you put TV? Eating? Sports? Family? Hobbies? Does prayer impact your life to the degree that it would be a priority on that scale? In other words, is prayer practical in your life?

I was raised in what I considered to be a strong Christian home. Our lives revolved around church, Bible studies, and potlucks. We prayed at meals and family devotions. But prayer was just another discipline that had to be worked into the mix. I do not remember hearing about extraordinary answers to prayer. I don't recall participating in hours of prayer and fasting as a church or a family. That doesn't mean that it didn't happen-it just never filtered down to me.

As a result, prayer did not seem to be a very practical way to spend my time. If a crisis occurred, it was given extra consideration. But as an everyday way of life, it was not of much consequence.

Then, in 1993, God gave me a huge burden to pray for a prodigal family member. As I got caught up in intercession and began to spend a significant amount of time in prayer for this person, the Holy Spirit began to affect a change in me. The healing in His presence was beyond what I could have imagined. I experienced release from issues that had been areas of bondage all of my life. A thirst for spiritual things overtook me.

I began to hear God's voice. He gave me distinct impressions on how to pray. He taught me the power of praying Scripture, and I began to see remarkable answers. Once, God brought about an unusual circumstance that answered five totally unrelated prayer requests-for five different people-at the same time! Suddenly, I realized that prayer had become the most practical thing in my life!

Prayer becomes practical if we can (1) find a way to do it on a consistent basis, and (2) if we begin to see it make a difference. When our lives outside of our prayer closets begin to resemble the things we are praying for inside our closets, prayer will become the most important activity of our day.

In this issue, we will explore walking the path of prayer-developing a practical prayer life. We will look at how to make prayer more meaningful, and how to live out what we pray.

Because here is the bottom line: if something is practical, we'll make it a priority in our lives.

-Sandie Higley, Pray!'s editorial assistant

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