Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Living Prayer

The Bible tells us we should pray without ceasing. Pray at all times.

Uh huh. Right.

Sounds a bit time consuming. A bit impossible to really pull off.

Nice idea though.

But I was thinking about this. I've long since come to my own private conclusion that this doesn't have to be formal prayer 24/7 - but rather a keeping Christ in mind throughout the day. (I'm not a theologian, and my interpretation may not be the right one, but it works for me.) (A bit of research found this sermon on the subject from 1872 - so it's not that my thoughts are unique here)

Last night, I realized something else though (it's funny how thoughts can hit you when you wake up in the middle of the night): We don't even have to be keeping God in mind. We should of course - but let's see if I can make my middle of the night revelation make any sense in the cold light of day.

When I say a formal prayer - for example an Our Father or Hail Mary - I assume that God is listening to me. If I silently pray to God to help someone or to give me strength - I assume that God is listening to me. Well, here's the thing. Doesn't He have to be listening all the time in order to notice when we are addressing him specifically? We don't only hear our children when they say "Mom" first - we are always tuned into them. And God is always tuned into each and every one of us.

So - following this to it's conclusion: God sees and hears everything we do. I know, we've been told this since we were children - but have you stopped to think about it lately? He doesn't just see us when we are on our knees at church. He sees us doing the laundry. He doesn't just hear us when we pray a formal prayer - or address Him directly - He hears us even when we are engaging in small talk with a friend.

And if prayer is our term for 'speaking to God' - then aren't we always 'speaking to Him' - or more specifically - isn't He always listening.

We pray without ceasing - because our lives are our prayer.

God sees how we live our lives - whether we are thinking about Him or not.

Everything we do and think is part of our prayer to God. Let's make it a good one.

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