2005-03-04 - A Prayerful Spirit
Originally Published 1999-09-24
I have heard it said that one reason that some churches have unison prayers of confession on Sunday mornings, is that is the only time some members pray during the entire week. If it is true, it is sad. When we don't pray often, or relegate it to a last resort tactic, we cheat ourselves of an intimate, ongoing relationship with our Heavenly Father. He desires to be involved in all details of our everyday lives, and in our hearts throughout each day. Prayer is not to be a weekly practice, or even simply a daily habit. Recently I was walking in the yard with our Cocker Spaniel, Pierre, and observed a praying mantis. Its forelegs remained poised in a form that truly does look similar to praying hands. I thought, "that is how we Christians should be; during every waking moment, our hearts should be in a continuous posture of prayer."
Eph 6:18 (NIV) And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
I like that -- "all kinds of prayers." Each time we become aware of God's working in our lives (or someone else's), we should praise Him for it. As soon as the Holy Spirit brings to our attention an unconfessed sin, we should repent and confess. As someone has said, we need "to keep short accounts with God." When we become aware someone has a need, we can intercede for him or her right away (and help to fill that need if it is appropriate). When we feel a hurt, we can take it to the Lord instantaneously. We don't have to be in a church or even a private place, in order to pray. Any time and anywhere, we can pray in our hearts, to God -- driving up the road, taking a shower, sending up a "bullet prayer" in the midst of hectic activity. In fact, as Henri Nouwen has said, we should offer even our work up to God as a prayer. I challenge you to try to consciously make prayer a part of all your daily lives, until it becomes "second nature" to you.
Dear Lord, please help us to keep our hearts turned toward You, in a constant state of prayer, to share all of our lives with You. In Jesus' name, amen.