You mentioned suggestions for prayer time. I immediately thought of several I’ll mention. Probably things you already do, but they mean much to me.
Praying scripture. How sweet to God’s ears! Eph 1 is especially rich, any of Philippians, the Psalms…almost any scripture can be prayed back to God and becomes so personal and meaningful.
Praying through the character and names of God. For many years, and often still, I began the day in bed praying…Thank you Lord that you are the Alpha and Omega, Altogether Lovely, Adonai, the Beautiful Savior and Blessed Redeemer, my Christ, Creator, confidence and constant companion, etc. As you add to your list and pray like this it just becomes second nature. Praying it aloud clears the air, for our enemy can’t stay in the presence of our praise. (I never thought of a name starting with Q)
Very important is something I’m sure you already do and that is to Journal. I can pray, but when I journal as I pray, God gives me so much more insight in my prayers…both for myself and for intercession. I began journaling in 1970 at the suggestion and accountability of your sweet Daddy. I have learned a lot from him.
Listening to other speakers on prayer (I love Jill Brisco) and books. In fact, Jill Brisco has a book specifically on prayer, but she also has a small gift book called GOD’S FRONT DOOR. It is short personal prayers she has prayed as she approaches God’s front door. He is there with her and it is so sweet and personal…very well written and encouraging. A small, simple book your Daddy suggested I read 40 years ago was, at that time in my life, life changing in my prayer life…PRAYER, CONVERSING WITH GOD. It might be a lot of fun to read and try together with your Bible Study group. I remember starting a conversational prayer group with a group of singles when we lived in New Mexico. The things that happened were miraculous, even to praying together and seeing people come to Jesus. Your Dad probably has that book, and you may have already read it. Then there are all the old classics on prayer, but sometimes a bit to chew off when you’re young and busy.
One other thought, I remember reading the Psalms over and over at one time, marking all the places where God is…underneath us with everlasting arms, covering us with His wings, surrounding us with songs of deliverance. There is no where we can be where we are not completely encased with Him. I circled these in my Bible with a cloud. Praying through those is exciting, too. Maybe your group could take one of these suggestions and do it together, seeing if it makes a difference. I believe it will.
Just a few thoughts from your ol’ Aunt Sandy…not too deep, but helpful to me. Every Christian has times when he struggles with prayer, or not feeling that intimacy with God that we long for. It’s part of our growing process. I think there are times when God takes us to the top of a mountain and shows us a glimpse of the sweetness that is ahead. He lets us revel in the sweet intimacy for a while, basking in Him. Then, He seems to back us down a bit and start us walking around the mountain. He needs to work it into us. Not always easy times, but we always are more aware of Him for the process.
Well, I didn’t mean to send such a long missive, my dear. If you read to the end, you’re probably as exhausted as I am.
Hope everybody there is well. I love you lots and lots, Aunt Sandy