I am sure that like I am not that different from most other Christians in how distracted I can become in my Christian life. It seems that life interferes quite often, and steals the time that I should give to the important element of prayer. To be frank many times the problem is that I often lack the motivation to really commit myself to prayer. Prayer is hard work, and often seems to be a one sided conversation. The truth is that the problem lies not with God, but with my heart when I pray.
The first thing that we need to address is what our motivation is to pray. With the proper motivation and drive behind it, we will willingly commit ourselves to almost anything, prayer is no difference. It is such a blessing to know that our Heavenly Father knew before we were created that we would struggle with this, and as a loving Father He has provided several important motivations for us. First, He commanded us to pray. This is a great motivation for many of us. Both the written Word and the Living Word commanded us to pray and to seek regular communion with the Father through the institution of a regular time of prayer. Some obedient children need no other motivation than this command, and that is wonderful. The sad reality is that for many of us this is not enough.
Thankfully, God provided more than just the command, Christ also modeled true prayer for us. Often He would go into a solitary place in order to pray, many times praying all through the night. He publicly thank God for food, fellowship, and answered prayer. He gave instruction into what real prayer would look like, and He gave parables demonstrating the effect of true prayer. It is interesting to realize that God knows that there are various learning styles, and as such provides motivations to facilitate each style. Here we see one for the visual learner. We can picture Christ praying, we can almost imagine His voice and see the results.
Perhaps the greatest motivation though is found in the realization that through true prayer, we allow the Holy Spirit access to our hearts so that the heart and our character can be conformed to the image and character of Christ. We are expected to be holy, and it one of the primary ways that God has provided for us to become like Him in holiness is through time spent communing with Him in prayer. Through prayer the individual learns to keep his mind focused on the things of God and heaven becomes his storehouse. The more time we spend with the Father in prayer, the more we should desire it. In addition, one cannot spend a great time praying to the Father without developing a sincere desire to be in His Word. Prayer and study go hand in hand, for the Word provides the second half of the conversation for our conformation.
We see that motivation to become like Christ should be our drive to pray. Prayer should always lead the believer to examine his own life to see what needs to change. Prayer guides him to the path of righteousness. Prayer reveals to him his own weaknesses and limitations, while showing him the source of true strength.