I’m still learning about prayer. Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:18, “Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” Philippians 4:6, “Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
Today I read about a woman who prays constantly. She prays that her coffee time would be a time of prayer and prays about those things God brings to mind while she is having her morning coffee or tea or a bite to eat. She prays that she would see Jesus in all her contacts throughout the day and prays for their apparent hurts. She doesn’t just read scripture. She prays it. As the Bible says, she believes that God has planted eternity in our hearts and that our passions are His nudge to serve Him. Her name is Marcia, and she is a painter. Marcia prays as she paints.
I have a tray I love. On it is painted the words, “What makes you come alive? Nurture your passion.” God has planted everything in us as Christians that we need to serve Him better and for Him to help others through us. I have two passions. I love to write, and I love to knit and crochet. These are my passions, and I have a lot of time to pray as I knit. I also pray about what I write. I stay open to the Spirit to bring to mind those things God wants me to pray.
I am certainly not a Marcia-level prayer, but I am learning. I don’t go to prayer as easily or quickly as some. I believe the reason is that I don’t live in an attitude of prayer. I tend to compartmentalize my life. I think I can do many things on my own, and I don’t need to pray about them. Prayer is not just about making our requests known. Prayer is also fellowship with God. Use it as a time of worship, thanksgiving, questioning, and hearing God’s response. I can pray thanksgiving or worship while I garden. I can listen to God as well. What is God showing me at this moment? Am I noticing the details of his creation, even seeing the weeds with a new observation? The variety of bird songs is a symphony as I work.
Have you ever done a quiet activity, and out of nowhere, you think of someone you haven’t thought about in years? Could that be God nudging you to pray for them? That one always catches me off guard because if I haven’t seen them in years, how do I know how to pray? In that case, I remember that God knows them and cares for them. I ask God to do in their life what He is famous for and to glorify Himself. Sometimes that is enough, and sometimes he brings something to mind to pray for them. I partner with God in that prayer.
Sometimes when we are alone, we are alone with our thoughts of the past. Our memories can sometimes haunt us. If God brings to mind an old hurt or deep wound of an event in your story, ask Jesus into it. Invite Him to heal it or give you insight into it that will help your healing. God is after our good and our wholeness. We may not be completely whole on this side of heaven, but we can be transformed into a fullness we hadn’t known before.
Prayer is our anchor when our life seems out of control. A lifestyle of prayer keeps us from compartmentalizing our life, so we are not left adrift.