Praying All the Time (part 1 of 2)

Biltmore gardens by Gillham

Biltmore gardens by Gillham

How are you doing with the biblical mandate to pray without ceasing?

I thought so. Let me tell you a story that might help. 

I met a man the other day who had a short leg. His cobbler had added an inch or better to his left shoe lest he list to port. He was open about his malady and casually began to tell me about how his short leg had affected his prayer life.

I thought a short leg was simply short all over, but such is not the case I learned, at least not in this man’s situation. All but his femur—that’s the part in between the “knee bone” and the “hip bone”—matched his right leg.

With an amused smirk on his face, he leaned left as he described his prayer life in order to provide a visual of how he looked when he attempted to kneel and pray with his short femur. With dry wit he dead-panned that he had adopted a different prayer posture—since he kept falling over.

I already had my mind on prayer since Dianne and I were attending a prayer conference where I was speaking. As this man talked of his short leg it underscored that prayer is more than a posture. In a nutshell, prayer is a discussion with God; an ongoing exchange with our Heavenly Father.

Have you ever wondered about 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing?” Ephesians 6:18 piles on further saying, “Pray at all times in the Spirit.” Maybe it is just me, but I read these verses and wonder: How in the name of time am I supposed to pray all the time? Does God not realize that I have a life to live?

Of course Father God knows about my life! After all, He gave it to me (ref. Col. 3:4), and further, He intends for me to engage life fully. While I might be labeled “a man of prayer” if I kneel beside my bed all day, I have a gut feeling Dianne and I would starve. Prayer must be more than kneeling with clasped hands and downcast eyes focused upon a list of concerns.

I will be blunt: Praying and posture are not related. Just because everyone bows his head doesn’t mean everyone is praying. I would have prayed yourself to sleep, prayed sitting beside your child’s bed, prayed in your car, at your desk, mowing the lawn, while fishing, biking…. Oh yes, and before eating.

This is precisely my point. Praying is an ongoing discussion with your Heavenly Father. It is engaging Him who is your life in all aspects of your life while you go about living life.

So what does prayer look like, and how does it sound? That's next time.