Prayer: “A solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or an object of worship.” – Merriam Webster Dictionary
For many Christians, over the years, praying has become a very monotonous formality that seems to happen at the same time every day using the same exact verbiage each time. Many of us grew up in the church with praying parents or even a praying grandmother that made sure we sent up a few prayers in their presence despite how we felt about it. As adults now, we’ve either given it up all together or dread repeating the same old solemn requests to the man upstairs.
As I’ve transitioned in my faith over the span of my adulthood, I’ve learned that the “Our Father prayer” or the very words that spewed out of my parent’s mouths in my childhood are not the end all be all when it comes to my personal prayer life. I’ve come to learn that prayer is a direct form of communication with God. He hears our prayers and He hears our cries. He also speaks to us through our prayers. You see, I never thought of it as a means of communication like sending an email or making a phone call to God. I just viewed prayer as something that had to be done as part of the requirements of being saved, sanctified, and Holy Ghost filled along side speaking in tongues, which I remember being taught to do in Sunday school and it still confuses me to this day.
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Lines of Communication
The thing with communication is that it’s a two way street. You don’t send out an email to someone without expecting them to respond. You also don’t hold a phone conversation without allowing the other person ample time to speak in response to what you’ve spoken. These same expectations apply when you sit in prayer with the Almighty Father. On top of all of this, allow God the space to give His response. Prayer is not only a time to talk, but a time to listen as well. The Lord knows the desires of our hearts. He knows what our needs are. We must take the time to sit in silence and listen for His voice. How can you expect to hear from Him if you don’t give yourself a chance to breath and sit in silence?“And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.”-Matthew 6:7
Listening for God’s voice allows Him to reveal to you his vision and desires for you. He begins to birth a purpose inside of you that you never could have imagined. He uncovers the blueprint to reach higher heights and deeper depths in your life and the lives of others.
Pray without ceasing
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”-1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Praying without ceasing does not mean that you must be on your knees with your eyes closed at all times speaking to God. It simply means that you are constantly keeping your mind steadfast on Him. Don’t look at prayer as such a strict or uptight form of speaking to our creator. Talk to God in actual conversation as you would your father on earth or close friend you’re having coffee with. Involve Him in your everyday practices. Speak to Him about your struggles. Reveal to Him your innermost thoughts. Praying without ceasing should be compared to living and breathing. The two go hand in hand and are necessary for your survival. If ever worry or fear comes upon you, prayer should be the first thing that comes to mind. When you are thankful, encouraged, or going through a storm, prayer should be constant.
Prayer can be a small “Thank you Lord,” to a full out session of worship and praise, eyes closed and body bent. Prayer is a way to show that you put all of your trust in God at all times with all situations. When you pray you are letting God know that you place your life in His hands and that all is well with Him. When you start to pray less, you begin to put more trust in yourself which can lead you astray.
What does your prayer life look like? Have you Communicated with God lately? He’s patiently waiting for you and excited to hear from you, His child. So, get comfortable and pick up that line of communication today. You’ll be surprised at what you hear on the other end.