- 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NLT)
On many occasions I’ve thought about the concept of continuous prayer. After all, it is mentioned more than once in the Bible but, thinking about it, on the surface it seems rather impossible. How would we have time to get the earthly things done that we must to survive if we continually pray? Actually, there’s a quite simple answer to that and it involves how you pray and, if done the right way, it can actually be a lot of fun. But first, what is prayer?
Prayer is really nothing more than a two-step process of opening our heart to the Holy Spirit. By taking that first step, we make ourselves vulnerable and when that vulnerability is presented with earnest praise to God via the Spirit, the communication channel is open and receptive to God, step two. Communication is using that channel to both praise God and ask Him to help us with our problems. While God is always standing by, our all-knowing Father who knows what we are thinking before we even area aware of it, He nevertheless wants us to open the communication. It is one way we can show Him how much we love Him for the love He gives us. When we prayer earnestly through that open and receptive channel, God knows we are sincere. It also puts Him in a receptive mode for what we want to tell Him. So, how do we do this continually, particularly when we have things to do in human life hat take close attention to detail and so much time?
Simply put, here’s what we need to do. Keep the communication channel open while you are doing whatever it is you have to do, and tell God the play-by-play of exactly what you are doing and what problems you are having with getting it done. It doesn’t have to be done out loud if you are in a work center with many others around, let your silent thoughts speak the words as you describe them internally. It is especially helpful when you are in a predicament or angry, for discussing it with God through that open channel will calm you, soothe you and keep you from saying something or doing something you might otherwise regret. Maybe it’s your meeting with your child after he has really messed up? Maybe, like me, it’s when you are handling a chore with the horses and one of them goes rogue. Maybe it's when you are in a difficult meeting with a skeptical boss. Or maybe it’s when you and your spouse are having a disagreement and God can show you the way to bring it to a satisfactory and peaceful conclusion for both of you demanding souls. It can be anything, but once you get in the practice, it just might be surprising what it does for you in the future and in the case of prayer, silent or out loud, it gets better with practice.
Consciously try it for thirty days and see if it doesn’t make things better. And remember, if you are truly open and in God’s wavelength when you offer your prayers through praise first and then with your request for help, you should consider it done even though it may not be according to your impatient wish. God works by His time, not yours. And also remember, you don’t have to ask for something to pray. Prayers of praise are always accepted and God truly loves knowing when we appreciate what He does and who He is with no special strings attached. I know a florist who always praises God while arranging the glorious and beautiful flowers that only God can create. It’s all about trust and if you don’t trust Him, you really can’t be open to Him. Trust and obey, for there’s no other way. Try it and follow through; it will astound you.