As a new believer I was sold-out for Jesus realizing that the life I’d lived my way had become one huge disappointment. Deeply touched by Jesus’ love, I committed to be a disciple for God, enthusiastically declaring “Here I am Lord, use me!” Well, as much as the Lord was no doubt pleased with my willingness to serve, I had a thing or two (or three) to learn about how vastly different His Kingdom is from all that I’d rehearsed in the ways of the world. Lesson #1 was prayer. Thankfully, He put a few people in my life that really had a heart for prayer, who continually ‘encouraged’ me to attend prayer meetings. Saturday mornings, prayer was held in a small room of the church for 3-4 hours. Yikes! The very idea of praying for more than 10 minutes was intimidating, plus the fact that Saturdays were my one morning of the week to sleep-in! With the constant prodding and the promise that ‘you’ll be glad you came’ I eventually found the resolve to drag myself to these gatherings. Initially, I felt like a bump on a log as I mentally wrestled with why I was there and felt completely inexperienced on how to pray. Rarely would I contribute much as my insecurities arose in the company of such great leaders—those who just seemed to have the right way to address the Lord, God Almighty. I realize now that even before I found the courage to say two words, I had been enrolled in the school of prayer. I began to understand that prayer is simply a conversation with God. In Luke 11:1, the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. What we know today as the Lord’s prayer is such a great place for us to begin as we turn our eyes and heart towards Him. Jesus’ prayers of John 17 are also significant as you read the heartfelt petitions that are filled with love and compassion not only for those Jesus prays for, but for His beloved heavenly Father. If Jesus spent time alone in prayer, how much more should we? It is a discipline that we must adhere to as it is our spiritual sustenance. There will always be people and things that compete for our time and attention, so we must prioritize prayer. Charles Stanley once said that he used to literally shut himself inside his closet to pray. I’ve tried it and I am always amazed at how quickly my mind and heart settle into prayer in a dark closet! If you desire more of God—if you are desperate for direction or vision for your life, start with more prayer. If you are struggling to be disciplined in this area, find a closet—you’ll be glad you did.