“Be Joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
I Thessalonians 5:23 (NIV)
Have you ever been around a talkative 3 or 4 year old? Most preschoolers have so much to say and they want to tell you all about it. New shoes, lollipops, funny looking clouds, the game ball, daddy’s truck, that time the dog threw up—nothing escapes their attention and they want to share it all. They repeat things they hear, retell stories, and give detailed summaries about what they learned or saw. They ask questions, too. They ask for help, for things they want; they ask why. They express appreciation and let you know how they feel. No topic is off limits!
As we listen to the chatter and respond with answers or questions of our own, we are building relationship and drawing closer. Directed towards God, this “chatter” becomes continualprayer, drawing us closer to Him. And like a child’s speech—at times well-spoken, at times just words and phrases—prayer, too, has many different looks—sometimes liturgical, other times simple expressions or thoughts written. It’s not the presentation that matters, but the heartfelt communication that occurs when we connect with our Heavenly Father.
Prayer was a vital part of Jesus’ daily life, a place where he found restoration and comfort and could re-center His will with God’s. He frequently withdrew to the mountains and other solitary places to pray. Nature seemed to be the venue in which he most easily connected with God—his pathway, you might call it. For you it might be singing that very quickly makes you feel like God is right there ready to listen; for others it might be while kneeling in a dark closet or while driving in the car. Whatever your “flavor,” just do it. Take time to talk with your Heavenly Father about everything going on in your life. He is listening.
Where do you find yourself most able to connect with God? What’s your “happy place?”
Heavenly Father, Amen. So be it. Because while prayer, yes, is conversation with you, ultimately it’s about centering my will with yours and releasing you to do your thing while I wait on you. So I start my prayer with Amen, because I trust you with the rest.
For further study see Matthew 6:5-15 and Hebrews 4:16.