The phone call still resonates in my head sometimes. My football coach called me the day after the first day of practice for the season. He was calling because I had not showed up for the first day. I was a senior, and I had played for this man for 3 years already. I made a decision to quit my senior year and not play football any longer. I had not told him this; I just chose not to show up to practice.
That action was what made it clear to my coach that I did not really want to play football. The ones who really wanted to play showed up for practice.
How many times have I prayed short snapshot prayers to tell God, "I want to grow spiritually. I want you to use me in ministry. I want to know you more and see you do crazy things in my life, my family, and my ministry." Yet how many times has God responded with the words of Jeremiah 29:13. "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
If I say I want to grow and yet seldom show up for the practice of serious prayer, I am kidding myself. God cannot teach me to pray and speak to my heart and guide me toward growth if I refuse to show up for practice.
We learn to pray by praying and showing up.