There are times when prayer is all we are doing.
There are times when we are praying no matter what else we are doing.
The times when prayer is all we are doing is when we choose to pause, to step away from our hurry, to shift our schedule, to enter a prayer closet or a sanctuary or a tree house or an office or a plane or a boat or a horse or a monastery and do one thing. We pray. In a variety of ways applying many spiritual disciplines, we pray.
The news? Off.
The distractions? Diminished.
The devices? Pushed aside.
Maybe we listen to birds singing songs as we sit on a porch bench. Maybe we pray for others, remembering their hurts as we intercede for their healing or their provision or their restoration or their recovery or their forgiveness or their joy or their family or their job or their dreams. Maybe we pray for ourselves, voicing silently or loudly our petitions to a Provider we believe in. Maybe we let God do the talking instead of us doing it all, grabbing pages filled with stories and poems and guidance written long ago and far away in that collection of material we call the Bible. Maybe we read an entire book of the Bible or one sentence or one story or do research to grasp a better understanding of how those ancient stories were during times when everything seemed so out of balance. Maybe we schedule time with one friend or a few friends, so prayer is all we are doing together.
The times when we are praying no matter what else we are doing is different. It is an attitude of prayer. It is an awareness of the Listener, the Provider, the Father, the Mentor, the Guide as we grab the car keys and crank the engine, as we grab the microphone and tell our story, as we grab the door handle and walk into the office. Or when we feel nothing much at all but choose to believe God is holding us in Hands we can’t see. Or when we feel nothing positive at all but acknowledge we need a little help here. Or when all we can do is take a quick glance at a lovely sky as we enter a dreaded conversation. Or when we’ve prayed a prayer so many times that we just go about our business wishing God would one day answer that prayer we thought He promised us long ago.
One is praying when we bow, when we wait, when we focus. Maybe we kneel, but we don’t have to. Maybe we close our eyes, but that’s not required. Maybe we pray and praise in silence, or with music, or finding a dear friend to join us in that time when all we do is communicate with our Listener, our Rescuer, our Father, our Leader.
One is praying when we are talking to a friend, eating a meal, answering a call. Possibly we let our thoughts include an imaginary image of God helping us in our hurry. Possibly we just nod to remind ourselves all will be well. Possibly we mentally repeat a biblical passage, choosing to meditate on a hopeful outcome rather than letting doubt and hate and hurt control us.
We need both edges of this life of prayer to be faithful in prayer.
We need to set aside time to pray.
We also need to see ourselves with God whatever we are doing and wherever we are and whenever it is.
Stop and pray.
Go through your day and pray.
With the silence.
With the noise.
Let us choose to pray