Today I’m starting a new series on prayer. Once a week or so, I’m going to write to explore this practice with you. I’ve brainstormed enough ideas to write every day for a month, but blogging every day would keep me from doing other things I need to do every day, so I’ve decided to keep these to about once a week. For those of you who participate in October’s “31 Days of . . .” blogging event, think of this as “31 [or more] [non-consecutive] Days of . . . Prayer.” Between prayer posts, I’ll continue to write about other thoughts God puts on my heart.
Let’s start with the basics: What is prayer?
Prayer is simply a conversation with God. In fact, it is a conversation initiated by God in the beginning, in your beginning—when He created you.
Just imagine, before you were born, God was there, whispering to you, singing over you, inviting you into relationship with Him. Prayer is responding to this invitation, recognizing the Presence of the God Who Is with you always, and talking with Him . . . about anything . . . and everything . . . all the time.
It is a continual conversation.
I looked up this word, continual, when I chose to use it in the subtitle of my book, Parachute Prayer: the Practice of Praying Continually. 1 Thessalonians 5:17, my theme verse, says, “Pray continually.” I wondered why it didn’t say continuously and if it made a difference.
Continuously never pauses. We must breathe continuously or we die. Continually, though, stops, then starts, then stops, then goes on. This is prayer: an on-going (or continual) conversation with God about life.
My husband and I are currently engaged in an on-going conversation with each other about the process of adopting our daughter. We meet to give each other updates on tasks to complete, progress made, set-backs, hopes, dreams, discouragements, insights. We go our separate ways for a time—Mike to work, me to manage our home, write a book. Together we enjoy our other pursuits, pastimes, and people. Life goes on. Yet we come back to the adoption conversation again and again and again.
With God, though, we never go our separate ways. He is with us always! He is always available to listen and interested in continuing the conversation of life. Sometimes He pokes us, so to speak, letting us know we need to sit and talk. More often, He waits, patiently—faithfully, for us to initiate words with Him, for us to acknowledge His Presence, for us to seek His face, to learn to recognize His voice, to enjoy His company. Approaching Him is the beginning of prayer.
I look forward to exploring this conversation with you in following weeks. Already I’ve gained a new insight to write about soon. I pray God will give you new insights, too!
Father, thank You for inviting us to talk with You! You created us to know You, to love You, to enjoy You forever, and You made it possible for us to start right now! Teach us, Lord. We’ve so much to learn, and we love you so. Amen.
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