Suggested Reading: Philippians 4:4-7
In these days he went out to the mountains to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God—Luke 6:12
Being prayerful is a courageous way to live. It is a lifestyle mirroring the way Christ Jesus lived.
Paul said never give up on prayer. Pray continually, always, about everything. Prayer is as important to the human spirit and Christian life as breathing is to stay alive. Prayer keeps us hopeful and from being hopeless. Prayer gives us the kind of inner strength that cannot come from outside of us or in the world around us. Like milk and calcium that makes our bones strong, prayer makes us spiritually strong and have stamina for living. Prayer keeps us connected to God, sensitive to the Holy Spirit, and part of Jesus who is the True Vine. When we pray, we are abiding in Christ and he can abide in us.
Have you noticed that in the Bible God does not give us set ways to pray? That is because he allows for our own personality and spirit to determine how we will pray to him, and we can express our thoughts, feelings, and heart to him in the manner that is most natural for us. that is because prayer is not meant to be cumbersome or overthought.
Some people write their prayers out as poems, some journal their prayers, some incorporate prayer into their daily walk or exercise, some people are like Brother John who disclosed in his book “Practicing the Presence of God,” that he prayed as he carried out his duties in the monastery, washing dishes, sweeping the floors, cleaning, doing laundry, or straightening all activity turned into prayer for him.
There are people who are very artistic with their prayers; drawing or coloring their prayers. Some people use their whole body to pray lifting up their hands, kneeling, sitting with legs crossed, and hands outstretched, praying with their face to the ground or floor, or prostrate; all of these are Scriptural. Our youngest daughter sings and dances her prayers of intercession and supplication for others. They are not only beautiful to listen to and watch but powerful and captivating. I have witnessed how her manner of praying has released blessings from heaven, manifested healing, and power, over and into the lives of others. I love to learn she is praying over my circumstances and situations in her incredibly unique, Spirit-led way. I know that means I have a blessing coming from the Lord in response to her prayers.
Jesus had his own way of praying. He loved praying in nature. Maybe that is where he felt closest to the Father. When he was praying in nature: on a hilltop, sitting on the mountainside, sitting beside a stream of water, praying out of doors, out from under a roof or enclosed in walls, but in the very atmosphere and environment his Father had created and he had been there to help maybe that is the place he could talk to God best without feeling separated from his Father.
Martin Luther, the great Reformer and Theologian, who had formerly been a monk in the Catholic Church had beautiful prayer habits. He encouraged people to find the way they loved to pray and then pray that way. We don’t need to copy others in their prayer heart or even be jealous of how they pray but discover our own—the Holy Spirit loves to help us do that when we ask him.
When we discover our inner prayer voice and bent, then we will love praying. It will be super easy to pray. We will want to pray all the time and make time for prayer. Our prayers will not be dry or lifeless, dull, merely duty and unenjoyable but they will be energetic, joyful, life-giving.
I can remember when my husband was still in the seminary taking what could have been an exceedingly difficult and hard course to get through not only because of the subject matter but because the class itself was several hours long. But the professor loved the subject matter and taught with enthusiasm, it made the class interesting, go by quickly, and what was being taught become impactful and inspiring for his students. Imagine what kind of class that would have been if the professor brought no excitement to it, how his students would have hated the class, dreaded going, and got nothing from it.
God has given us prayer, not just as a means of communicating with him, not just as a way to talk to him about our problems, or to fulfill our Christian duty, praying for others, but as a way and means of expressing our love for him of being intimate with him on that very deep level. He has not boxed us in or said the only acceptable prayer is with our eyes closed and on bended knee; but he accepts all prayers and forms of prayer that are sincere and come from the heart. When the Spirit leads us there is no wrong way to pray. God loves to hear and watch us pray and looks forward to meeting us there; it’s good when we love to be there also! Let’s Pray!
Father, you are such an incredibly loving God and you have given us so many wonderful gifts and blessings as we live out this earthly life, among our most cherished is that of prayer. What a jewel and treasure we have within our being to connect with you in such an intimate way. Through prayer we can communicate with you, bring our own needs and those of others to you. Because of prayer we can experience peace of mind, and calmness of soul and spirit. Thank you for the gift, blessing, and spiritual tool pf prayer, may we learn our unique, individual, heart of prayer which will enable us to fall in love with it and pray just as Paul said: without ceasing. In Jesus’ name, who is our first and finest example of how beautiful a Spirit-inspired prayer life can be, we pray. Amen
Courageous Living: How does being reminded that prayer can be just as unique as each one of us, encourage and inspire you to discover your favorite way to pray?