Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Prompts for Praying Perpetually

Are you familiar with the hymn, “Sweet Hour of Prayer”? To be honest, I find an hour of prayer challenging, rather than the “sweet” communion W. W. Walford, the blind English preacher, wrote about. Yet God encourages us to pray, not just for an hour, but continually. (Ephesians 5:18) Maybe the problem is my lingering misconception of what “prayer” really means.

Prayer is NOT:
-rattling off a list of things we want God to do
-a monologue
-a chance to show off our Christian-ese to God or to fellow believers
-a last resort
-merely an obligation
-limited to kneeling with hands folded

Prayer IS:
-a conversation, a dialogue where both parties speak
-a time for listening, as well as speaking
-natural and unaffected
-a powerful weapon in our Christian arsenal
-holy privilege
-possible anywhere

Even knowing all this, I still need help maintaining an attitude of prayer throughout my day. About four years ago I posted some tips for praying without ceasing. Since that time, I have come across several more helpful suggestions for keeping prayer at the forefront throughout my day:

  • When getting into a vehicle, I pray for safety and for whatever the cause for my trip—a family gathering, a doctor visit, a purchase, etc.
  • Before we go our separate ways in the morning, Dick and I pray for each other and for family.
  • I keep all greeting cards and use them as prayer reminders, taking one from the basket each day and praying for that individual or family.
  • Dick and I say grace before meals—whether in public, eating out with others, or sitting beside each other on the couch watching a recorded episode of our favorite TV show.
  • When something makes me smile, I whisper, “Thank you, Lord!”
  • As I peruse Facebook or read blog posts and comments, I pray for the people who mention that they, or others close to them, are going through a challenge—a lost pet, cancer surgery, feeling blue, etc.
  • Our church uses a mass email to alert our congregation of prayer needs that come up during the week. My email sends an alert to my phone, so as soon as one of these requests come in, I pray.

What are some of the little prompts that keep you praying continually? Please feel free to add your own tips in the comments section.

Be encouraged!

©2016 Pamela D. Williams