I talk to my friends and family quite often. Some more than others, but I try to keep in contact. Keep the communication lines open. See what is going on in their lives. Make sure they have what they need and offer assistance where I can. Sometimes I just miss a particular person and want to chat for awhile. I have long conversations with some people and small talk with others, but the end result is that I actually communicated with that friend or family member. It all helps to ensure that my relationships are sustained and we know what is happening with each other. The good, the bad, and the ugly, so to speak.
The same thing happens with God. And the communication is called prayer. Two people talking to each other and making requests of one another. Keeping in touch. Knowing what’s happening with the other person.
I’ve heard a lot of people pray. Some are so eloquent that you feel totally embarrassed to pray out loud in front of them. Others just say what is on their heart. Some of my own prayers have been the long and fervent and weeping-on-my-knees kind. Other prayers have been a short sentence, or even just one word. I have whispered a prayer, said it aloud in the shower, lying in bed, in the car while driving. It doesn’t matter. It’s all communication.
The conversations I have with God are similar to the conversations that I have with my friends and family. But just as I don’t call those friends every time and only when I want something, I don’t talk to God only when I want or need something. I am sustaining a relationship. I am letting Him know how I am doing. He is my friend, so I call Him whenever I want to talk my friend.
This is the purpose of prayer.
And prayer gives you purpose. You won’t understand God’s purpose for your life or walk in the fullness of your destiny without prayer.
Prayer gives you power. There is no other way to experience the power of God in your life.
We don’t think enough about prayer. We don’t focus on prayer. And sometimes we get so far away from God’s voice that we can’t even hear it anymore. It’s ironic, really; our lack of interest in prayer. Because it’s the very thing that sustains our connection with the Father. Prayer should be woven into the very fibre of our being.
It’s not about eloquence. It’s not about religion. It’s about a relationship with the living God.
God can’t stand pious poses, but he delights in genuine prayers. Proverbs 15:8 (The Message)
I am a procrastinator by nature. Yes, I admit it. This is not a characteristic I like or even want, so in order to keep it under control I have to discipline myself to complete the to-do list. Every. Single. Day.
And how am I doing with that, you ask? Well, yesterday was not my star performance. I made a big mistake in confiding to one of my daughters that I was bored. As soon as the words came out of my mouth, I sucked in my breath as if to take the words back, but it was too late. We always had this rule in our house: if you say you’re bored, you get to clean all the toilets in the house. Good thing the toilets needed cleaning yesterday. But my point is that despite my boredom, I had a whole lot of things to do that I just didn’t feel like doing.
Shame on me.
I read a quote this morning that caught my attention. “Covering laziness in prayer is not a spiritual discipline.” It was an eye-opener, because first of all, isn’t procrastinating just being lazy? And second of all, don’t we often tend to cop-out by praying about something instead of acting on it? We go to God in prayer – which is a good thing – and then walk away when we’re done, satisfied that we can say we prayed. Meanwhile, God is wondering when we’re going to get the hint that He’s required more than just our prayers. And we’re wondering why our prayers aren’t answered.
So I’m working on the whole procrastination thing. And I’m also working on the action list God’s has given me.
Maybe someone else will clean the toilets.
Have you heard about the “One Word” New Year’s resolution thing? Click on the image above to go to the site.
The whole idea behind this concept is to trash the resolution and focus on just one word – a word that becomes your own personal creed, so to speak, for 2012. I like this for many reasons, largely because I have a history of not keeping any kind of New Year’s resolution past about January 3rd. At least I think I made it that far once.
You may not be able to get through your laundry list of resolutions, but you can focus on one word. Or in my case, two words.
This is a shortened version of: Listen to God. Do what He says.
I am really good at talking, but not so good at listening. And when it comes to the doing part of what I was supposed to be listening to – well – let’s put the past behind and move forward, shall we? This is a new year.
2012 is just over a week old and already I can see that Listen and Do will be a learning process. I have a lifetime of bad habits to break where this is concerned, and I think my biggest hurdle is to be still long enough for God to say what He wants to say. I want to be attentive. I want to hear what He is saying to me. And I want to act on that, whether it be something He has spoken to me in His Word, or during my prayer time, or through someone else.
So even though my One Word is actually two, I think I can do this.
I’ll keep you posted.