Today’s Truth

In the night, LORD, I remember your name, that I may keep your law. This has been my practice: I obey your precepts. You are my portion, LORD; I have promised to obey your words (Psalm 119:55-57 NIV).

Friend to Friend

I’ve always been an athlete. Growing up, I played on different sports teams all year round, but volleyball has always been my jam. I played in college and coached my daughter’s high school team. I’ve been around this game for more than thirty years and I’ve spent more time on the court, on the sand, and on the grass playing and practicing volleyball than most people ever will.

You’d think that after all the hours invested, I’d have the game perfected by now, right?

Not hardly.

There are still times when I shank a pass and hit into the net instead of over the net.

There are still times when I miss a serve.

No matter how much I’ve grown as a player, I’ve come to realize that when I step on the volleyball court mistakes are going to happen and there will always be opportunities for me to grow and progress in my skills. Simple as that.

And you know what? I’ve found the same to be true in my prayer life.

Remember that old saying “practice makes perfect?” Well, I think it’s a bunch of beans! A phrase that better represents the reality of growth and development is this: practice makes progress.

Whether we’re talking about our development as athletes, as students, as wives, as employees, or simply as women of faith – specifically, as women of prayer – we’re all purposed to grow until we die.

The truth Paul wrote about in Romans 7 still remains: we don’t do what we should do, and we do what we shouldn’t. Sadly, prayer is one of the “don’t dos” for many of us. We all seem to KNOW how important it is to trust God with our burdens, but many of us neglect to put this important discipline into practice.

Do you ever go to the phone before you go to the throne?

Yeah. Me too.

The Psalmist wrote of the importance of spiritual disciplines. “In the night, LORD, I remember your name, that I may keep your law. This has been my practice: I obey your precepts. You are my portion, LORD; I have promised to obey your words” (Psalm 119:55-57 NIV).

Sometimes I don’t trust God the way I should. And though I’ve been faith-walking with Him a long time, there are still a million ways that I need to grow. There will always be ways for us to grow and there will always be mistakes for us to work through.

My relationship with God grows when I pray and when I obey. Yours does too.

As I pray my faith and courage increase and I naturally trust God more.

Sometimes this looks like prayers of thankfulness and petition during power walks, during time in the carpool line, while washing laundry, and during lunch breaks. Like the psalmist, we can remember God’s names, yield our hearts in obedience, and recognize Him as our Portion. We can redeem mundane moments to thank God and to pray for our children, careers, futures, frustrations, loved ones, marriages, pains, and trials.

When we “do life” with God by exercising the spiritual discipline of prayer our faith grows.

It helps us to trust Him more. And I really want to trust God more.

Practice makes progress.

A strong volleyball team is one that relies on each other throughout the game. As Christians, we have the advantage. We have God on our team. If God is for us, who can stand against us? Progress happens when we talk to Jesus and trust Him, rather than trying to play the game of life on our own.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, Thank You for grace that allows me to progress in faith! I’m sorry for the times I go about my day and “do life” without You. Help me to continuously pray and to trust You with my burdens.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn 

How would you rate your prayer life on a scale from 1-10? Where would you like your prayer life to rank on that same scale? Are you willing to do anything about it? If so, what? If not, why?

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9 Responses to “Practice Makes Progress”

  1. Sheila says:

    Morning Gwen
    I’m embarrassed to admit where my prayer scale some days. I wouldn’t say it was being lazy I’m so overwhelmed with the things going on in my life and I do know if I would lay my burdens at the foot of the cross God is there to carry them for me. There are so many ways in need to grow. I pray for that today to put everything aside and do life with God by my side. Many thanks for your encouraging words.

    • Avatar photo Gwen Smith says:

      Good morning, Sheila! I think we all can relate. There are many ways I need to grow too. Glad we can do it together!


  2. Carol says:

    Good Morning Gwen
    At Bible study last pm, we were studying the commandments of God. Started our talks on prayer life. I had a light bulb moment when most of our group admitted we are not good at a disciplined prayer life.
    I know mine is a solid “middle of the road” and I also know, that is not good enough.
    I want to develop an automatic conversation with the Lord, about everything! I’m in total agreement with the refer. to Apostle Paul, knowing what I should do, and doing the opposite.
    I want my prayer life and my “seed sowing” to become an action of my everyday. I don’t want to rely on my own strength for dealing with life; I want to rely on Jesus for everything!
    Thanks, for giving a great spiritual, coaching lesson today.

    • Avatar photo Gwen Smith says:

      Yes, Carol. A continual response of worship and conversation through life. Love the thought of sowing seeds of action. 🙂 Keep shining!


  3. Jackie Harden says:

    Oh how I want, as Carol mentioned, to develop automatic communication with Jesus! It’s been my prayer for years now. I am alone now with my husband passing just last month. I so miss our regular times of prayer together each evening. Now I need to develop new prayer habits but I want it to be more conversational & much more continual throughout the day. May God answer these cries from our heart. Thank you Gwen for helping me know this is a common struggle & for encouraging us all. Bless you.

    • Avatar photo Gwen Smith says:

      Oh, Jackie. I’m so sorry for your loss! I am stopping to pray for you right now… that the comfort and peace of Jesus will lead you step by step to a deeper place of trust, fellowship and joy with Him.

      Hugs and love,

  4. Angie says:

    Thanks for the encouraging words on prayer! We will never be complete until Jesus comes. We are a work in progress. My prayer is that I will continue to grow and get closer to God. It’s through circumstances that we are drawn closer. I want to stay in prayer all the time. I love to hear from my grandchildren and children good things. Don’t you know God loves to hear from us. Nothing is too hard for Him. Please keep my granddaughter in your prayers. She needs to come home to God and her family.

  5. Carola says:

    Hoy ce celebra la independencia de mi país. Perú 🇵🇪.

    Gracias a las oraciones.que hacemos,es un país bendecido,con abundante recursos naturales.

  6. Jackie Harden says:

    Thank you Gwen. I appreciate your prayer!

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"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8