Pray continually I Thessalonians 5:17. Prayer is not just something that we do at church or just before bedtime. I remember a while back I was preaching a series of lessons on the Lord’s prayer, and asked the teens I was speaking to what their prayer lives looked like. Two of them said that they prayed just before bedtime, the exact same prayer every night. One of my points that night is that prayer is not just a manta that we chant or lines that we recite, but that it is conversation with God.  The Lord’s Prayer is not just to be recited, but was given to us to teach us we can approach God because He is our Father, and talk to Him. It is an example of a child speaking to His Father. It is a template, or example.  Tonight I’m reminded that our conversating with God is not to be just a once in awhile long distant phone call to heaven, but is to be a continual, ongoing talk with the God that is always with us, who lives in us if we know Christ.

How can we do this? We can’t stop our lives, and just sit in the closet praying! This isn’t what God wants. God desires that we would be in constant convesation with Him all day long, as we go through our days. Every time that we expereine something that makes us happy we can say, “Thank you Lord” because every good and perfect gift comes from Him (James 1:17). It’s only polite to say thank you when we are given something. Lord thank you for my job, my sight, my health, my wife, my house, my friends, my children! Oh Lord thank you! Oh and don’t  be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God (philippians 4:6).  I am to aproach Him when I am tempted to find help and victory(Hebrews 4:15-16).  I am to confess and repent of my sin when I mess up (I John 1:9). These are just a few of the things we are to pray about. And prayer is not a fake thing where I have to say just the right words, but I can pour my heart out to God, vent to God. We find this all throughout the Psalms. 

Recently I took my 4 year old daughter with me to a discipleship class at our church. I gave her a sucker, and had her pack her coloring book so that she would not be bored. She was really good, just like daddy asked her to be. She was writng in her coloring book quietly, and looked like she was in her own little world. The pastor was talking about prayer, and asked what are we supposed to be praying about? Just the big things? What about the little things? What are to pray about? My daughter yelled over all the others answering, “EVERYTHING!” I was startled and proud! She is right! We are to pray about everything in our lives! What if i was in prayer, and seeking God about everyone and everything in my life? Let’s pray for every detail of our lives, and everyone God brings into our lives.

We dont have to always be talking to God.  We can have our ears tuned into Him, listening for Him. So that ” Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it”(Isaiah 30:20-22). If we belong to Christ, we have the Holy Spirit in us who is there to guide us thru our day(John 16:13), and remind us of scripture when we need it (John 14:26). We do need to spend time in the Word! We do need to spend time in solitude and prayer! But our conversating with God doesn’t end when our quiet time is over. “Your will be done” is not just something we recite, but is the constant cry of our hearts all day, as we respond in obedience to what we have heard Him say to us from His Word, and as we listen through out the day for the Spirit to remind us of what we have been taught when we need it and for Him to say to us in the middle of our expereinces, “this is the way, walk in it.”

I have an amazing friend who sees her relationship with Jesus like a dance. He leads and she follows. Let’s see prayer more as an intimate dance through our day instead of a legalistic duty before bedtime.