In the mid nineties a book was published entitled “Conversations With God”. I thought the title was interesting and I heard great things about it so I bought it. And although I wouldn’t recommend the book for various reasons heretical piece of trash I’m still intrigued by it’s title. Having a conversation with God sounds so much more casual that prayer, and for many “too busy” people it’s a good fit. It’s our inner dialogue when we’re asking for direction in our lives or when we need answers. It can be us turning to God in sudden desperation and knowing that He’s there. Prayer is a conversation with God, one in which we do most of the talking…I have heard His voice speak to me before but that’s a whole other story. I’ve read in other places that prayer is the lifting up of our desires to God and hoping that they match His, and I can see the truth of that. To many, prayer most commonly happens in what we think of as being the traditional way, In a church or in a private place, heads bowed and on their knee’s. How we choose to relate to God is a personal thing to each of us, but regardless of how it happens we’re called to…
1 Thessalonians 5:17
Pray without ceasing.
So what is prayer and how can we do it without ceasing?
Isn’t it all of those things I mentioned and so much more?
In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.
As Christians, It’s at the heart of what it means to have a relationship with Christ. It’s the acknowledgment of our brokenness and of what Christ’s death on the cross means to us. It’s how we are to live our lives in His presence, abiding in Him and He in us. When people ask me if God is real, or how do I know He loves me I often tell them “Why don’t you just ask Him?”… “Start a conversation with Him and see where it goes!”
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
We can pray in the Spirit, speak in tongues, or with the tongues of man and of angel’s. Prophesy in His name, cast out demons or call Him Lord, Lord! We can worship on Sunday, or Thursday, or even on alternating Tuesdays…
But it’s only what’s in our hearts that matters to God!
I’ve written this to myself and maybe to other people who may feel somewhat discouraged at times about their prayer life. I sometimes feel overwhelmed by all of the people and things that really need to be prayed over in my life. At one point I was carrying a note pad in my back pocket to write down my prayer requests. I stopped because it was a “hassle”…oh boy, I have no defense for that! I know that our enemy is clever, and that he’s always looking to lay down some ground work so that at some point we might think,
” How could you NOT carry a note pad around in your pocket, don’t you care? You’re a “bad Christian” lol…or this one, “I’m just no good at this, I can’t pray like so and so, it’s so beautiful when they pray!”, This goes for bible reading as well, “I just fall asleep when I try to pray at night, whats the use?”
Prayer is an expression of the heart… We can use it to praise God! We can use it to lift up others into the presence of God, or to tell God the details of whats going on with us and to ask how we can bring our lives more into line with His will. I think whats critical is that we talk to God about whats most important to each of us, whatever that might be! That we do acknowledge Him in all of our ways and seek His council as to our lives. I’ve “prayed” in cars, and I’ve prayed for cars! I’ve whispered a quiet word and I’ve screamed at the top of my lungs! Most of the time I wake up and drift off to sleep in “prayer” thinking about how to live in Gods purpose more fully,or how to know him more intimately and serve Him more effectively. I know that if I had only “prayed” in one way I would’ve never been able to “pray without ceasing.” I don’t think that God wants us to view prayer as a task that we must perform, or as an empty ritual that’s done solely for the approval of others who may see or hear us. I don’t think He’s impressed with anybodies great oratorical skills or commanding “King James Version” vocabulary. My problem is that I tend to become “religious” about prayer and that mostly has the effect of taking all of the fun out of it. What gives our prayers “umpfh” is the faith that’s behind them. I like to think of faith as being a conduit between us and God through which all business is done.
Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.