I Thessalonians 5:17 (The Message)
I know that praying is important. But there seems to be an elusive quality about it in that I'm not always sure just "how to do it." Once in conversation with a group of people I discovered that some "prayed" once a day. I was left wondering if they talked to their friends, spouses, family "once a day." I heard a pastor call a congregation to 90 minutes of prayer a day for the purpose of spiritual growth in their community. The grumbling I heard about how "impossible" or "difficult" it was again promoted me to ponder over how much time is spent watching television, reading or even exercising!
Most of my daily activities are intentionally planned, intentionally executed, intentionally accomplished. Prayer somehow falls, too often, through the cracks of my intentionality.
When I listen to prayers it seems that it is often approached as a one way conversation. Most of my friends wouldn't tolerate my friendship for very long if I sat and talked at them for 90 minutes. Our friendship continues and flourishes because we talk in a mutual back and forth conversation. Its the talking and listening that makes a rich and satisfying experience.
But, prayer has made a significant difference in my life. Some days are spent with 30 minutes here, 15 minutes there and so on. Other days there is a total immersion into the refreshing waters of prayer. It has been life changing. My days have become turning off the radio while driving to a appointment and I find I've just had a 25 minute conversation. Standing at the kitchen sink doing dishes listening to God's Spirit suddenly 20 more minutes have passed.The days and hours of intentional prayer have given me life at times when I have felt life waning.
If you're like me, sometimes I wonder about "how to do it" or even "when" but when I think of it in terms of a conversation, I realize that prayer is a back and forth convo with the One who made me and wants to be in relationship with me.
Speak Lord, your servant is listening. . .
and occasionally talking!