Friday, September 14, 2012

"Let us Pray, Let us Pray, Everywhere and Every Way . . ."

1 Thessalonians 5:17
. . . pray continually . . .

I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer. ~Martin Luther

Pictured above is a bookmark which I use in my Bible.  When it is given to me many years ago, I am a "wet-behind-the-ears" Christian who has not fully realized the power of and necessity for daily prayer.  Every time I look at it, I remember fondly the person who gave it to me, and marvel at how far I have come in my prayer journey.

But, oh, how many days of raveling I experience along the way!

All because I'm praying with my head, not my heart.  Believing in God, but not fully trusting Him.  Turning worries and anxieties over to the One who can calm the storm, only to snatch them back and insist I can overcome my problems on my own.

Wrong!

Because prayer isn't about recitation, it's about relationship.  It is being aware, every moment of every day, with every breath I take, that the Lord is present.  Indwelling.  Listening.  Caring.  Loving.

Because prayer isn't a monologue, it's a conversation.  I talk to God then, in silence, I wait for His answer.  His direction.  His inspiration.  His comfort.

Because prayer isn't about my will, it's about God's.  Who knows my needs before I ask.  Who knows what is better for me than I can ever hope to imagine.

The Lord is ever ready to listen to me.  To you.

To hem us in on every side with His great love.

"For the Father above, He is listening with love, and He wants to answer us, so let us pray." ~Steven Curtis Chapman
~
C. S. Lewis once said, "Prayer doesn't change God, it changes me."  How has prayer changed you?

Will you pray with me?
With every breath we take, Father, may we feel Your holy presence in our lives. Let our prayers be conversations of the heart, and not the head alone.  May we continue to grow through the Holy Spirit in our relationship with You.  Amen.




28 comments:

  1. So true Martha...prayer is actually a conversation with God.. I also talk to Him. Many times...when I happy, when I sad, when I dejected or should I say always!

    Because it kind of gives me solace to know He is listening...no matter what!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for visiting, Me!
    Glad to know that you, too, have a running conversation with God. It does give us peace and solace to know that He is listening all the time!
    Blessings to you!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ah, the standard reply (from my religious background) is that NO is an answer, too!
    Prayer- whether one recites a litany of organized words (I do) or not- every day keeps one grounded. We are provided universal reasons why we should be thankful we have another day to make the world better. And, since we are normal humans, our minds wander as we recite the words (ok, I know mine does) to the application of the words as they apply to us...which personalizes the conversation in which we find ourselves.
    You should try it- for at least five weeks. Then, evaluate if you have found a difference.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for coming by, Roy!
      I have found that "no" is a common answer in prayer, but I've learned that it always means God has a better way, a better plan, a better solution. And, yes, prayer does, indeed, keep us grounded and centered on the most important entity of our lives - the Lord!
      I like your idea, too, of taking the formal prayers and making them personal - what a great thing to do!
      Blessings to you!

      Delete
  4. I talk to God every day. I find myself asking him to bless people I don't know,whenever I pass a memorial set up on a road where someone has passed in an accident,I ask God to comfort the family and friends left behind and to bless the person who is now with him. I feel better after I do. I talk to God as my friend and sometimes my conversation wonders off,lol,but I apologize and get back on track.This is easier for me then learned prayers,and I feel closer.Thanks again for your words....Gina

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Gina!
      If I didn't talk with God everyday, I wouldn't know where to turn. I like that you pray constantly for the blessings of others; that's one reason I like being a part of my prayer chain at church. Lifting others up, even when you don't know them, is an amazing feeling.
      Blessings to you!

      Delete
  5. Prayer---can be such a challenging learning experience for me. In the past I wanted to direct prayer, follow a formula, cover all the topics, check all the items off my to-do-list. Currently, I am trying to align myself with God's will, knowing that he is already aware of all my small requests and concerns. Do you ever listen to Andy Stanley? He recently did a series on RED Letter prayers that took my breathe away just listening to the sermon. You can find it here: http://www.northpoint.org/messages Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Lynne!
      Aligning yourself with God's will . . . what could be better? :)
      I will definitely check out Andy Stanley's sermon; thanks for sharing the link here, my friend.
      Blessings to you!

      Delete
  6. Martha, I loved loved this post. So many pointers here for devotion and daily reflection.

    "prayer isn't about recitation, it's about relationship."
    "prayer isn't a monologue, it's a conversation."

    I hardly pray in the conventional way. I just converse randomly. But I know that I should start being a wee serious in that area.

    Bless you for this reflection my dear teacher.

    Joy always,
    Susan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for coming by, Susan!
      I think we all find our comfort zone when it comes to prayer. For some, formal prayer can be extremely personal while others need to simply be in conversation. No matter how we pray, we need to pray!
      So glad you enjoyed the reflection and thanks for your kind words.
      Blessings to you!

      Delete
  7. Good Morning, Martha:
    This is SO VERY true:
    Because prayer isn't a monologue, it's a conversation. I talk to God then, in silence, I wait for His answer. His direction. His inspiration. His comfort.

    I've ALWAYS lived my life this way. How different I'd be if I didn't have a personal connection w/MY God. I carry on a conversation ALL the time. I don't consider it prayer at all. The word PRAYER in my opinion signifies a one way communication. What I have is NOT one way, because I see signs as God's answer to what I talk about. Saw your comment yesterday at my blog.

    Yes we are on the same page quite frequently. Think it shows that we are tapped into the same source. I used to find it odd how frequently I write about the same topic as other bloggers. Not anymore. Now I see it as just another example of how connected everyon and everything is.
    --
    Chris

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Chris!
      Yes! We are definitely connected - I agree. And, I love how you've described your "prayer" experience as a two-way, not a one-way, street, for that is exactly what it is and should be. We see the signs when we open the eyes of our hearts . . .
      Blessings to you!

      Delete
  8. I talk to him in my head all the time and feel it is from the heart... it always needs fine tuning though. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for visiting today, Rachel!
      I'm glad you are in conversation with God, and you're not alone in the fine-tuning department. We can all use some tweaking!
      Blessings to you!

      Delete
  9. This is a post we all should come back to from time to time. I think we do get used to reciting a set number of words at the Lord because it's routine. We pray the same prayer so we "covered." We can say okay I prayed today so that takes care of that! But no, we need to go deeper in prayer and drop the structure. If we're sad we should say Lord, I'm sad. Will you help me not be sad? Or God I'm confused, I don't know which way to go. Will you lead me? I certainly need to do this more. Thanks so much for this. I needed it today.
    :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, yes, Tameka, it's all about the conversation - "Will you help me not be sad . . . Will you lead me?"
      As important as our "routine" prayers are, I've found the most solace in these gentle dialogues, just sharing with God what is on my heart.
      Thanks so much for your comment!
      Blessings to you!

      Delete
  10. I struggled with this many yrs...why pray? God does not change his mind based on my prayers? I kept praying anyway...and I changed. my heart.
    lovely post as always!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Annmarie!
      Yes! That's exactly right - prayer changes our hearts. :)
      Glad you enjoyed the post.
      Blessings to you!

      Delete
  11. Martha - I really enjoyed this post...especially about prayer not being a monologues but conversation.

    My thought is talking with God shouldn't be like an exchange with an ATM, a genie or Santa Claus:) It should be a communication, not begging or pleading. What do you think?

    Like you, I've found God to help provide wisdom, guidance, direction and strength. God usually does respond when we talk but we usually forget to listen :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Vishnu!
      I agree - God should never be treated as, to quote Billy Graham, a "celestial bellhop" who is supposed to meet our every whining plea. Although I don't think it's wrong to ask God for things, we should always pray that His will, not ours, be done.
      And, yes, we do need to listen, don't we? :)
      Blessings to you!

      Delete
  12. I love your bookmark, Martha. Our prayers are what keeps us sane. I have moved from the God who was a jukebox to a God who walks with me and talks with me. Isn't it just wonderful to be loved so deeply by Him?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for dropping by, Corinne!
      Oh, yes, so amazing is the love God has for each one of us! And, I agree wholeheartedly that, in this world filled with such craziness and evil, our prayers, our conversations with the Lord, do keep us centered and sane as we travel life's road.
      Glad you liked the bookmark, too. It is my favorite.
      Blessings to you!

      Delete
  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I've been reflecting on this and it's a reflection for a lifetime :) It's very beautiful Martha.

    It's a 'conversation' with the One Who loves us... and the One we love...

    I do feel incomplete without talking with Him...

    In my first few months teaching the kids on prayer, we've wasted a lot of time on explaining how it is... then, one day, we prayed. And I saw the children's faces lit with joy.

    I pray with you Martha together with all the hearts gathered around here yearning to be One with Him... We pray in hope, in deep faith and in love. Come Holy Spirit, teach us to pray.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Melissa!
      I love your account of the children's reaction when, instead of talking about praying, you actually modeled praying for them. That's when they got it! :)
      Thank you, as always, for praying with me, dear friend. May the Holy Spirit ever teach us to pray . . .
      Blessings to you!

      Delete
  15. the martin luther quote is one of my faves ;-*

    beautiful, inspiring post -- thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I always feel calm and relaxed after I have prayed. I am so happy that I have a direct link to God...He is always there and never too busy to listen to what I have to say. Thank you for sharing this beautiful post Martha! Have a blessed day!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I was taught to pray the rosary as a child and I even memorized the prayers from praying it almost every night. But I admit, I only knew how to recite it but I didn't really understand what the prayers meant back then. I only understood the words when I became an adult. And it is different when we know that it is an actual conversation with God -- I grew a much deeper understanding of His plans for my life.

    I still need to grow in my prayer life, Martha. So thank you for this wonderful reminder of how important prayer is. God bless you always! <3 :-)

    ReplyDelete

Birds of a Feather

Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in...