Thursday, October 28, 2010

Prayer

Can a working man pray for people all day long, and at the same time do his task efficiently? Can a mother wash dishes, care for the babies, continuously talking to God? These are two questions Frank Laubach asks in this excerpt from Letters by a Modern Mystic. They both caught my attention and opened my eyes. His idea is to go through the day in continuous conversation with God. He's reaching for a point where he does not go even a half hour without being in touch with God through prayer. I believe that the working man can pray for people all day long while doing his work and that a stay at home mom can care for her children, wash the dishes and converse with the Lord. These are both questions that challenged me and made me think how I can go about my entire day being in touch with God. It made me think what that would look like to be in conversation with God while in class, driving, showering, eating, cleaning... etc. Laubach goes to say "Now I like God's presence so much that when for a half hour or so he slips out of mind -- as he does many times a day -- I feel as though I had deserted him, and as though I had lost something very precious in my life." Sometimes mysticism gets a little too deep for me and goes over my head and I begin to see it kinda creepy. But I think it also can be useful to challenge one's life and spiritual connection with God to grow deeper. In a way I agree with Laubach, I understand where he is coming from when he says that he feels like he has deserted God and lost something important in his life. When I am not in the Word or in prayer - I am not as close to God as I desire to be and I feel like I've wasted a part of my life by being distant from God. Thinking about being in constant prayer at all times of my day is honestly... somewhat overwhelming. There have been times when I thought to myself "I don't know what to pray for..." or "I don't know how to pray..." - or when people ask if anyone has prayer requests, and people think/say they don't need prayer. Yeah, I've been there... well as I read on in my Devotional Classics book, Martin Luther slapped placed some sense into my head. He said, "If you do not know or recognize your needs, or think you have none, then you are in the worst possible place. The greatest trouble we can ever know is thinking that we have no trouble for we have become hard-hearted and insensible to what is inside of us." He continued on with encouragement on what are things to be in prayer about for ourselves. He mentions the Ten Commandments. This points us to be in prayer about the times when we have little faith, hope and love towards God, when we are not honoring God above ourselves, when we aren't loving the Lord with ALL our hearts... etc. Those are such important things to be in prayer about and confessing to God. As the body of Christ let's be in prayer more! This is a challenge for me to be in prayer more often than I am. There is always more room to talk to God. That's exactly what prayer is, talking to God. Sometimes I lose sight of that and think I have to have all the right words and plan this 'prayer speech' before delivering it. God already knows my prayers before I verbalize them, but he loves to hear them come from my mouth. Cry out to the Lord and ask him to help you. Be in prayer for yourself and for others - it's such an important part of being in relationship with God! There are so many people out there who need prayers - ultimately, who need God. How can you be praying more?

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