One of the questions in this week's lesson is~
"Do you find it easy or difficult to pray?"
My immediate response was "Let my tail get in a crack or the world start falling apart and it rolls off my tongue as easy as ABC." I can throw up a frantic petition quicker than Drew Brees can launch a Hail Mary.
Unfortunately, though prayer is essential, it is often put on my back burner when I am "busy" with whatever claims my attention at the moment. After all--I've go this handled, Lord. Prayer is not unlike any other thing--it gets easier and better with practice. First requirement though is to practice.
What is prayer? Simple-communicating with God. How do you pray--stand on the street corner and shout petitions for all to hear. Not quite! Communicating is a two way street. It is all for naught if one does not have someone on the listening end. Being willing to listen is only part of the equation--you must also be willing to hear the one who you are communicating with. Communication is NOT listening to a monologue. Communication is a give and take process. We have to be willing to keep quiet and listen for God as well as giving him our two cents.
Lauren pointed out how shallow a relationship would be if two are unwilling to communicate. Talking about a one way street. Anyone would tire of never being heard--and certainly not understood if there is no communication.
The Word clearly tells us God desires our prayers and we should practice until we are praying continuously. Talking with God as we walk throughout the day. We should take "All things" to God--not just the choice few we think we might not be able to handle. I am certainly guilty of thinking I know best and only going to God in desperation when I might not have this handled!
I loved the study I did long ago which used the acronym ACTS for a design on how to pray-
It is certainly nothing wrong with a formula, Jesus, Himself gave us a formula. How much better though to have open~two way communication on an on-going basis?
"When I am consciously aware of God's presence and am in conversation with Him all throughout the day, inconveniences become opportunities; disappointments become an occasion to trust the Lord's sovereignty, hurts become a chance to extend the forgiveness extended to me through Christ; fears are overcome by His love for me as His child; and happiness overflows into praise. Prayer is not easy, and it's for sure not natural, but it is essential to the next part of His will for my life: to give thanks in all circumstances."Lauren Chandler
Our aim--our goal should be pray without ceasing and rejoice.