Stone Soup for Five: prayer: mistaking kindling for logs -- what do you think?

prayer: mistaking kindling for logs -- what do you think?

This morning I was reading A Method for Prayer, specifically "The Second Discourse Shewing How to Spend the Day with God" and landed on this:

"We must not only pray solemnly in the morning, but that desire which is the life and soul of prayer, like the fire upon the altar, must be continually burning, ready for the sacrifices that are to be offered upon it."

And that trigged a thought: This is assuming I pray solemnly (in a very serious and sincere way) in the morning, and is encouraging me to keep that fire for prayer stoked during the day.

But what if I've been doing the opposite?  What if I have been mistaking the little prayers throughout the day (the kindling and small pieces of wood put on the fire to keep it alive, but not roaring) as my prayer time.  

It seems like most days I never get past tossing on a few sticks and kindling.

If I don't make the time to lay down bigger logs on the fire my house--my soul, will never be warmed by it.  Maybe that's why things seem confusing and cold?

What do you think?


  1. I think that really it is about something to attain and aim for. I know most days I am shooting up arrow prayers and praises when it strikes me. But, on the days when I spend my entire run talking, praying and praising God my soul is truly refreshed. So, I know which way is obviously the most fulfilling and growing for me. But if all I have to give most days are arrow prayers and praises I feel like they are my offering for that day. I know I will never be done growing my time of commune with God, but I must not get discouraged on the way.

  2. Kari, that statement from "the old dead guy" is sooo good...and convicting (she types sheepishly.) I pray all those little prayers throughout my day. I have gotten better about "seat warming" prayers, that is prayers where I sit long enough to warm my seat! I even pulled out that wonderful prayer journal binder that you graciously showed us how to do (and wiped off the dust...) But what is helping me right now is writing out my daily prayer list on pretty paper, some seasonal, some just pretty. I tape them (washi tape) on the wall of my prayer room so that I can have them ready when I pray or warm that seat. It is helping to have several days of prayer up so it can be my go-to for prayer any time. Thanks for all your guidance and encouragement!

  3. Definitely convicting! We have the awesome privilege of entering into the presence of the Almighty Eternal God, yet it is a struggle to do so. Perhaps Satan knows the power of prayer so he really throws out the distractions to prevent it! We so easily forget the spiritual battle we are in. I recently took note of the verses preceding the armor of God passage. They speak about principles of daily living before describing our spiritual armor. I think we too often forget that our biggest battles are during our everyday living! Thank you for words of the past that are ever true!

  4. I wonder if that "old dead guy" had someone else to cook and clean the house and watch after the kids? My prayer life has been different during different seasons of life. Some seasons those quick prayers through out the day was all that I had. Now as an empty nester, I do have more time - and I probably should use more of it for prayer and Bible study! I think we all should evaluate our prayer life no matter what stage of life and make sure we seek God more than we're seeking the "frills" of life (social media, tv, books, etc.)

  5. I definitely think prayer changes, and the ability to pray changes, with situations and circumstances. In my life right now there are some situations so heavy that it’s all I can do to pray in “groaning”, so heavy is my heart and no words are adequate. This is biblical also. Thank God that He is still there in the midst of the heaviness and pain, he hears my prayerful groaning and interprets the my prayers, even if it doesn’t meet someone’s definition of how prayer should be. He will restore my soul.

    1. Remember in our groaning it is Holy Spirit that shares our prayer with Jesus and he leans over and tells God what is we are praying. What a beautiful picture of the Trinity of God. I too have been groaning much since Mom died. I know God knows even before a tear falls and groaning starts. He just likes to have us share with him and get closer. Blessings for you and yours.

  6. I've been feeling challenged in my prayer life as well - I start work at 8 and my time in the morning is so often spent focusing on bible study that my prayer time does feel like "sticks and kindling" right now. My plan is to take extended time for prayer on my Sabbath - not because I have to but because I need it. God is faithful and I'm asking Him to take this prayer time and multiply it for His glory and His kingdom. Praying that He will do that for all of us!!

  7. Wow, that is convicting! I have been feeling that I needed to spend more time in prayer first thing in the morning, and this definitely affirms my thoughts. I'm too quick to throw little prayers at God here and there, then pat myself on the back for "praying" every day. I yearn for the longer and deeper prayer time that I've had in the past but have let slip away.

  8. I figure prayer is prayer. Jesus knows our heart. Any type of prayer is important and matters. <3

  9. Thank you Keri, for the word that tells us to come closer and stay in His presence. Be holy and do not let your prayers be hindered.


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