"But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed." Luke 5:16
I rarely answer my phone. I text, email, Facebook, Twitter, and engage in any number of currently acceptable forms of social interaction and communication. But I rarely answer my phone.
I like my information communicated quickly and easily. I prefer my responses to be thoughtful, articulate, and funny. The telephone call does not allow for such things.
How do you expect me to be as witty and charming as I possibly can when I only have milliseconds to respond to you before you say, "did I lose you" or "are you still there"?
I sometimes (most of the time) feel this way about prayer. In our society of instantaneous gratification and Google know-it-alls, we don't have time for long, thoughtful, drawn out communications. Even if it is with the Creator of the Universe.
We often get stuck in the habit of, "I'm going into this situation that I'm worried about, oh yeah, I should pray". You (I) shoot off a quick prayer and then enter. Knowing full well that the ratio of quick "breath" prayers to thoughtful meditative prayers (if ever someone was to calculate the immense chasm between these two sums) is much wider than you or your pastor would like or appreciate.
The Gospels often catalog the prayer life of Jesus. It is rather convicting at just how often and how much time was spent by Jesus in times of prayer.
By the very definition of a Christian, we should long to be "like Christ" in every way. Prayer is no exception. We cannot hope to be like Christ if our prayer life is not intentional, deeply contemplative, and expressive.
I'm not saying that God doesn't hear or respond to prayers that are less than 140 characters, but what I am saying is how can you expect to receive all the information, hope, blessin,g and guidance from God if you won't stop, listen, and respond for more than a microwave minute?
It is good to pray. It is good to send God prayers and requests throughout your day. Make sure that is not the extent of your prayer life. You could be missing out on the novel of blessings and responses from God while you skim through the magazine of your prayer life.
Posted on Thu, July 5, 2012
by Nick Nieblas