A few weeks before I was diagnosed I was having such a difficult time feeling like my regular prayer time was connecting. It all felt like a routine, unemotional pattern. It didn't feel like prayer is "supposed to feel". So I asked God to help make my prayer life more real, help me to feel like prayer was a more important part of my life. Wow, does He ever answer our prayers.
My prayer life has been re-energized and on warp speed. I was walking into work today after praying during my 20 minute commute and realized I have been living in a continual state of prayer for the last month and a half. I have not literally been praying 24/7, but I have been constantly in communication with God. I'm a big fan of three word prayers. It's not deep, articulate, or wordy. It is honest, raw, and real, "God heal me". Every time I'm reminded of my cancer those words are cast out to my Father in earnest request. Maybe 30 to 50 times a day I utter those words.
That is the problem.
It took a major disease that brought me to my knees. I'm now totally dependent on God for mercy if I'm going to be healed. That's what it took for me to reconnect with Him? I'm in the belly of the whale crying out to my Father for mercy. Yet I am praying for myself continually. I'm begging that God give me something which I don't deserve. Is this what Paul meant in 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18?
17 pray without ceasing; 18in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
A friend of mine who was diagnosed with stage 4 head and throat cancer and survived told me it is not selfish to want to raise my son, or grow old with my wife. God gave me those desires. I honestly am praying as much or more that God would heal me, so that I can fufill the clear purpose I see laid out before me. I'm also praying that He heal me so I can raise my family to find the same joy and peace I have found.
So God has used this desire of self-preservation to draw me into a constant state of prayer. Once I was there he opened my eyes to so much more that I need to be praying about. This includes praising and honoring Him for everything He is, has done, and is doing. It includes praying for those around me. It also includes asking Him for help in the other areas of my life that need to be conformed to His will. These are things I should have been desperate for in my life before cancer. However I was too proud and arrogant and didn't realize how much I needed God to be in my life 24/7.
We don't pray enough, because we aren't desperate enough. What are you desperate for? Maybe you need to think about it like this: what would you be desperate to save if it was at risk of being taken away from you?