Sometimes prayer becomes only a noun in life. It’s more of a checklist item instead of an exercise in faith. We say it at dinner time, at bedtime with our children, at the beginning and end of church, and sometimes we say it quickly before a hard test or an important meeting. However, the true active tense of it rarely enters the prayer. It’s habitual and ho-hum rather than an engaging exercise.
Some people believe that prayer must be done in a particular place (church) or in a specific position (kneeling). Yet, if your relationship with God is natural, prayer becomes a dynamic part of your daily life. You understand that ongoing and open communication is the core ingredient of a vital and growing relationship with God.
To make prayer an activity, you need first to recognize it as a gift and then cultivate it into action. God gave us prayer out of love and trust. He wanted us to stay in constant dialogue with him so that we would not lose our way in this frequently disorienting world. It’s His way of giving us a lighthouse or beacon in the storm.
But knowing it is a gift is only part of it, we must work at keeping it relevant and worthwhile. With the Lord’s Prayer, God gave a launching point, but it is his fervent hope for us to delight and actively participate in the process.
How can you do this? First, give thanks. Gratitude allows us to put life into perspective. Sometimes it’s easier to see the negative, rather than appreciate the positive and giving thanks forces us to recognize the many blessings we have. Second, describe your challenges to God. By going into deep meditation with God on your problems, you dissect what’s really giving you pain and, with God’s help, understand the source. God wants to help you solve your difficulties, but without serious consideration in prayer, it’s hard to do this. Lastly, bring all things to God. Once we are persistent and determined in our conversation with God, we will find that the truth in all things will be revealed, even outside of prayer.
Charles Stanley once said, “We can be tired, weary and emotionally distraught, but after spending time alone with God, we find that He injects into our bodies energy, power and strength.” So, I encourage you to turn to God in active prayer.