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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Unplanned moments of prayer

You know what?

I have found that some of the most powerful, poignant moments of prayer that I have ever experienced were completely unplanned.  Spur of the moment.  Spontaneous.

My faith in Christ is a relationship.  A daily relationship with times of conversation, closeness and comfort.

Here's what I am beginning to learn.  What's important are not necessarily scheduled, planned times of communication with God - but those every day, every moment conversational times of sharing with an almighty God.

I inwardly smile, and completely understand the notion of "praying through" "interceding until the answer comes."  That is all well and good.

But then to pat ourselves on the back and think that we have "done our duty" and that is all my relationship with Christ consists of  - well there has to be something more than that.

Let us not discount the dailyness of conversation in our walk with God.

Paul writes to the church in Thessalonica that the people should, “pray constantly” (1Thessalonians 5:17).

Constant prayer emphasizes the natural, conversational nature of prayer. Prayer does not need to be limited to a place or set of rituals.

As we journey through life with Jesus, we carry on a conversation.

At times there is silence, and at other times brief statements.

Sometimes we have intimate conversations, discussing our goals, struggles, or need for guidance and discernment.

Constant prayer is living in the presence of God, and acknowledging that presence.

When I talk to my wife Debbie, it is not to manipulate her, or to get something from her, or to try to impress her (usually). Usually when I talk with Debbie it is because I love her.

We have a relationship. And I want to talk through my life and our life together with her.

There are two times when I need to talk with Debbie - one is when I feel like it, and the other, probably more importantly, is when I don't feel like it. The same is true of authentic prayer.

God and I have had several conversation today already (I guess I am name dropping here).

If someone read that last sentence without understanding prayer, or understanding the context in which it was said - they would think that I was nuts.

And indeed, someone once said, "When we talk with God, we call that prayer, when God speaks with us, we call that schizophrenia."

God does speak.  The question is - are we listening - on a moment by moment basis?

I think most sincere Christians are fed up with "churchanity" of a show of religion.  I believe most sincere Christians are longing for the real thing - a relationship, not a ritual.

So, why not have a conversation with God today, not because you "need" anything but just because you love God?  Unplanned!

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