If we pray at all, we find it hard to really carve out the time to pray well.
When we think about prayer, we tend to think about all those times we prayed for something that never happened, and we wonder if it works.
When we pray, we have trouble keeping focused and keeping our attention on God.
But if we really want a transformative experience in prayer, if we really want prayer to change us, if we want to be more like Jesus in all things, why not look to Jesus for an example on how to pray?
In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus is portrayed at prayer more than in the rest of the other gospels combined. Luke carefully points out that Jesus prayed at key moments in his ministry (examples: at his baptism; prior to picking "the Twelve") and as a habit. When we look at the examples of Jesus praying as a habit, we see that he most often prayed alone, in a quiet place.
For example, after engaging in a healing ministry, "Jesus went out to a solitary place" (4:42). Prior to choosing the twelve apostles, "Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God" (6:12).
These two examples are important. Jesus went to be by himself in solitude and silence. He spent a large amount of time ("the night") in prayer. What would it be like to follow Jesus' example in prayer by going to be by yourself in solitude and silence, for a long period of time, where you could yield yourself to God and let him strip away any pride or ego and shape and form you in prayer?
These questions are for those who want spiritual transformation:
When is the last time you spent a significant amount of time in silent prayer?
When is the last time you went to be by yourself in solitude for the express purpose of praying?
When is the last time you cast your agenda aside in prayer to listen for God's agenda?
Whoever has ears, let them hear.