Last week we emphasize the spiritual discipline of intercession, praying on behalf of others. This week’s spiritual discipline is petition, praying requests on our own behalf.
I invite us all to pray this week. Voicing our needs to our Heavenly Father who has invited us to pray.
Here are a few thoughts on prayer from my book Pause for Pastors: Finding Still Waters in the Storm of Ministry.
Have you lost something of value? A mobile device or a computer? Or a memory you thought was safely stored in a computer? Or a memory you thought was stored in your mind? How did you feel? How did you respond?
When a mobile device was not where I thought I had placed it, I did not sit back and do nothing. I searched. I pursued. I aggressively looked for the hidden, the missing, the needed, the wanted.
Conversations with God are not just ritualistic addictions or habitual duties. They are not boring assignments. They bring awe. They offer delight. They are world-changing, life-changing, mind-changing experiences. They are phones from an inner life allowing us to hear a Voice. They are moments plugged into a Power’s mighty charger. They are segments of time saved with the Word from before time’s beginning. They are honoring a Name above all names.
Conversations with God are choosing to sit back—packed with awe, bursting with delight—and do nothing in order to do what matters most. Conversations with God are searching, pursuing, aggressively looking for the Hidden, finding what is so often missing. Conversations with God admit we are the needy and the wanted.
If you have lost the value of prayer, of quiet time with God, of noisy songs of praise, of silent reverence, of desperate petitions, pray that your Leader will teach you to pray.
Do not delay.
Slowly, honestly, and by choice, prayer can begin today.
See it not as a forced or required assignment. See it not as an action where you’ll be graded on the value of your performance.
It is awe.
It is delight.
Turn off the television and the computer. Don’t answer the phone. Don’t hurry or rush. Hush the noise. Push the to-do list aside and be still by His side. Set up an appointment with God.
Let nothing rob Him of your time.