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?
When I consider my communication with Dianne, we do have conversations that have a clear subject with a definite beginning and conclusion…every now and then. However, our general communication is free-flowing. We leave subjects hanging while we answer the telephone, or if talking over dinner, until we finish chewing our food. We talk about big things and mundane stuff. We muse, mutter, laugh, and leave some conversations dangling—never to be concluded.
My talks with Father are similar. Our communication is not sequential, unless someone is listening in, like at church or before dinner. Once in a while I begin a discussion—a time of prayer—by saying, “Dear most gracious Heavenly Father….” And once in a while I say to Dianne, “My dear, sweet wife….”
Most of the time I simply say, “Hey Di,” and “You know Father….” But far and away, if Dianne is in the same vicinity—like in the passenger seat of the car—I just start talking, and I do the same with God. I figure both are savvy enough to guess who I am addressing. This is life-talk, and this is prayer.
Perhaps no other matter compromises my ability to get close to my Heavenly Father than the irrational and unbiblical belief that prayer must be formal. I don’t put on facades with anyone else. Why should I pose for God, use a special vocabulary, and pretend I’m something I am not and call that prayer?
Since Christ is my life, it seems to me that telling Him with some regularity that I am trusting Him as my life and for my life means that He and I are engaging each other on a continual basis during the course of living. In this way, I pray without ceasing.
But truth be known, once in a while, usually before a meal, I clasp my hands and bow my head, and that’s OK too I think.