When our kids were little, they’d tag along with me in the old white Dodge Caravan while I ran errands. As I drove, I’d pray aloud about whatever came to mind. Sometimes I didn’t realize I was praying until I heard Katherine’s sweet voice from her car seat. “Mama, who are you praying for now?”
That memory made me realize I’ve had an easy conversation with Jesus for a long time. I’m an introvert; I spend a lot of time in my thoughts. It makes sense that I’d continually communicate with the One who is as near as my thoughts. Early in my Christian life, I learned I needed Him every single minute.
I wake up in the morning and say, “Thank you, Lord, for another day, for blessing me so much; thank you for abundance; for family, food and home. Thank you for hot water for showers and cold water to drink.”
“Lord, I give myself to you, please help me to walk in whatever you have for me. Speak to me and give me direction.”
I pray for friends and family when they come to mind as I go about my day. I write names of people and groups on a chalk board to remind me of specific requests.
When I take walks, I’m grateful for the birds, trees and sunshine. I’m aware that even my ability to walk is a gift from God.
Over and over I ask for wisdom and I thank Him for the answers to prayer He’s already given.
I thank Him for protecting me on road trips, despite my stupid mistakes. I thank Him for my husband and how hard he works. When I almost spill the nail polish or nearly hit my head on the cabinet door I say, “Thank you, Lord”.
I talk to Jesus all day long. When I’m in public places I have to remind myself to pray silently. When I clothes shop, I ask Him to help me find the right pieces of clothing and to be patient. (I don’t enjoy shopping for clothes.) When I food shop I often ask Him to bring to mind the grocery items on the list I forgot to bring with me.
I ask God to help people who seem to be struggling. Sometimes I sense I should speak to them and other times just smile. Occasionally I hear Him nudge me to pray with them. It’s hard to reach out of my comfort zone, but at times it’s what someone needs.
With my laptop in front of me, I ask Him to give me the words that should go on the page and help me to know which ones to leave out. “Help each person who reads my words to know you better”, I pray.
Celebrate always, pray constantly, and give thanks to God no matter what circumstances you find yourself in. (This is God’s will for all of you in Jesus the Anointed.)1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 The Voice
“Lord, help me to be creative and make improvements to our Columbia home. Help me to let go of stuff. Give me courage, especially for the sentimental treasures. Inspire me with creative solutions to help our home run smoothly. “
“Help me to love and serve my neighbors. How can I engage with them and point them to you?”
The word pray, in its earliest usage, comes from a root word defined as poured forth sounds of words like rain. It indicates continual speaking and also means to ask. I imagine prayer as a constant stream of thoughts poured out or spoken to God.
Brother Lawrence, in his book, The Practice of the Presence of God, wrote,
It is stated by the National Science Foundation that we have 12,000- 60,000 thoughts per day. It reports that 85% of the thoughts are negative ones, and 95% are repetitive from previous days.
Our thoughts and our breathing are natural; we don’t have to concentrate to do either. What if our prayers of praise, thanksgiving and requests to God could be as natural as breathing? What if prayer could crowd out a lot of our negative thoughts?
I’ve found the more I pray and thank Him, the more I have to be grateful for. I acknowledge everyday things like parking spaces, green lights and sunshine with a thank you to God. The answers and blessings seem to multiply.
What if you feel like there’s no time to pray? What about utilizing the overlooked moments; the small pockets of time, to talk with God? If a person commutes to work or runs errands each day, there are many hours up for grabs in traffic. What if your car became a prayer closet of sorts?
According to the same scientific study, we spend about two years of our life waiting. What if we redeem that time and use it for our good and the good of others by praying?
Do you have time for Netflix, Facebook or Instagram? Now I’m stepping on toes, including mine.
What are some of your tips for a practical and robust prayer life? How have you seen God move in answer to your prayers?