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my anti-social prayer experiment

GUEST POST:  As we wrap up our first week in the 40-Day Challenge, I want to share  a powerful blog post my friend Ashley wrote in response to the question: “What keeps you from being ALERT for prayer?”    

Pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17 ESV).

For the past several years, the Lord has beckoned me deeper and deeper into a more intimate relationship with Him. Before I had kids, I would wake up at 6am just to meet with Him and His Word, and I loved to pray during my 45 minute commute to work. After having kids I would long for naptime, a good cup of tea, and an hour in Word and prayer.

Earlier this year I felt such a distance from the Lord, and sensed a lack of depth in my relationship with Him. I did not understand why. I go to church, I serve, I read the Word, but my prayer life was in the pits. I made excuses.  I have three small children, I’m exhausted, my baby girl still wakes up at night, I can’t even clean my house, so how can I find time to pray?  And that is just it- God doesn’t want me to fit him into my day. He doesn’t want me to clock in and clock out or check him off my list. He says pray without ceasing. That means don’t stop.

So I tried a little experiment, what I called “anti-social.” 1 month, no Facebook, no Instagram, no Pinterest. What I learned was, since getting my smart phone last year, I replaced all my quiet, reflective moments of the day with media. Nursing my baby, waiting in the car, awake for no reason at 3am- all filled with turning my phone on. I even started checking Facebook constantly and uploading pictures on Instagram obsessively instead of actually enjoying the gift of that time with my family. Take away the idol of media- including TV- and suddenly I have time to pray and just enjoy rare quiet moments with the Lord.  Continue reading