Discipline in Prayer
-1 Thessalonians 5:17
Coaches are famous for using sayings and quotes to get players pumped up for whatever sport they’re playing. I have a friend who hangs signs with different sayings all over his team’s locker room. One sign in particular really resonates with me. It’s the one posted just above the door that leads out of the locker room. It says, “Discipline is not what I do TO you; it is what I do FOR you.”
When we hear the word “discipline,” we often think of negative things like extra sprints at the end of practice. Once, our college football team upset our coach so much that we actually had to start practice over. Those are the kinds of things that go through our minds when we think about discipline. But I believe that God has a different definition. I believe God sees discipline as something that He does FOR us, not TO us. And a great example of this is through the spiritual discipline of prayer.
In 1 Thessalonians, we read that we are to pray continually. If we read a little further, we find out that the very next verse tells us that continual prayer is one of three things that are God’s will for us in Christ Jesus.
Athletes are creatures of habit. We learn things by doing them over and over again. If we didn’t, there would be no point in practicing. Through practice situations, older players have an opportunity to, through their own examples, teach younger players how to play the game. In a similar way, we can learn God’s discipline by example, too.
Jesus was the prime example of a teacher, especially when it came to prayer. He didn’t just tell his disciples to pray, He taught them how. When they asked Him how to pray, He told them. He also showed them examples through His own life by continually getting away to talk with God.
When it comes to discipline, we can train ourselves athletically by spending huge amounts of time making sure we get enough practice in and eating the right things, but we also need to discipline ourselves to be more godly. And one great way we can start is by saying yes to prayer.
1. Is practicing your sport more important to you than your time spent in prayer?
2. What does it mean to pray continually?
3. What is the benefit of prayer?
1 Thessalonians 5:12-17
“Father God, we ask You to instruct us throughout this day. Let our eyes and ears be so in tune with what You desire for us that we can’t help but do Your will.”