I read a piece recently in which the author suggested that the best thing to do to improve one’s prayer life is to simply pray when you get the urge. His suggestion is both simple and profound.
He points out how often one gets such an urge: when speaking to a struggling friend, when about to go to sleep with one’s spouse, during a conversation when an opening to share the gospel presents itself. For some strange reason, at all these opportunities we fight a battle to say to the other person, “Let me pray for you.”
In a letter dated June 14, 1956, C. S. Lewis writes to encourage a friend undergoing great financial hardship. Lewis would send money but laws at the time forbid it. Instead, he sends along this encouraging advice,
“The great thing with unhappy times is to take them bit by bit, hour by hour, like an illness. It is seldom the present, the exact present, that is unbearable.
“I shall pray for you whenever I wake in the night, and hope for better news.”1
Even if he could send money, knowing he would pray whenever he awoke in the night would mean more, and do more, to her than a check in the mail.
“My eyes are awake before the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promise.” – Psalm 119:148.
- Walter Hooper, ed., The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis: Narnia, Cambridge, and Joy 1950-1963, Vol. III (New York: HarperSanFrancisco, 2007), 761-762. Italics in original.