There is a great old hymn– His Eye Is On the Sparrow– and the chorus says:
I sing because I’m Happy,
I sing because I’m Free.
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.
It is a great reminder that, as followers of Christ, we always have a reason to be happy and to sing his praises, even when circumstances are confusing or situations are trying.
I love this old song, but sometimes, even though I have reason to be happy, I don’t feel like singing. The same happens with prayer. Some days, I’m just not feelin’ it. It’s not necessarily that I’m miserable or angry. Sometimes, I’m distracted, or even happy doing self-centered things.
I find it easier to pray when I’m sad or needy– my brokenness brings me closer to God. When things are going along just fine, I sometimes forget the true source of my joy and strength. I take for granted that God and I are close, not realizing that I haven’t spoken to him lately, or that I have whispered a quick, shallow prayer, but I haven’t spent much quality time with the lover of my soul.
There is an old Chinese proverb that says: “I don’t sing because I am Happy– I am happy because I sing.”
At first, it may sound like this is a contradiction of the beloved hymn, but really it is a complement. I sing because I’m happy, but if I sing no matter how I start out feeling, I find myself happier! I pray because I want to be close to God, but I stay closer to God because I pray. When I was younger, I used to base my prayer life on how I felt. It’s yet another reason I now use a prayer journal. Read more about keeping a Prayer Journal It keeps me disciplined and helps me maintain a stronger prayer life. We all know that prayer is a key element in building a strong relationship with God and others, but it has to be practiced to be effective. Other key elements are:
- Reading the Bible/doing a Bible study
- Fellowship with other believers
- Obedience– Actively following God’s example
Any of these elements can become lackluster and difficult, especially if we aren’t practicing them daily. And all of the elements will become stronger through practice. Not only that, but they will blend together better, and the end result is a stronger, healthier, happier you.
And that’s worth singing about!