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Last months posts dealt with the concept of new. After all, a new year is upon us, and several of us, I'm sure, decided on a new habit or two to start as we entered this fresh beginning of 2017.
Along the lines of new habits, this month I would like to explore the habit of prayer.
I know most of us do pray. But maybe we can dig a little deeper or put some zing back into something that should be a very exciting aspect of our Christian walk.
We are, after all, connecting with the creator of all the universe from the smallest atom to the largest expanse of space.
And we have his attention, his ear.
But even more amazing then that, we have his heart.
I Thessalonians 5:17 says to "pray without ceasing."
What does it look like in our world now to pray without ceasing?
I believe we are to be quick to pray. We need to get ourselves into the habit of praying first, before any other action is taken. Too often, I run to discuss issues or plans with friends or family before I think to discuss them with the Father. You know putting the proverbial cart before the horse. Which if you think about it leaves you stranded, unable to get anywhere.
This habit of prayer is hard when we are surrounded by other things vying for our attention: children, phones, televisions. The list of attention grabbers is long. They cause us to lose our focus and forget to pray. We are too busy meeting the demands.
I am reminded of a story about John Wesley's mother ( Wesley one of the founders of the Methodist Church). It is said that being a mother of many children when she wanted to pray she would throw her apron over her head. All the children knew what this meant. Leave mother alone, she is praying.
Now, if need be I can throw an apron over my head, but I think if I'd get into the habit of turning off some of the attention grabbers or excusing myself for a moment or even just whispering a quick prayer when needed, that would be all it would take.
It's the habit I need.
And developing a habit of continual prayer means developing a mind set where Jesus is ever present.
Our Challenge: Praying without ceasing.
Action step: For the month of February, begin praying when you are in the car. Every time you get in the car say a prayer for someone or a situation. Imagine the lives that will be touched.
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Thank you for the gift of communication. Thank you that we can talk with you about everything in our hearts, and even though you know all about it before we utter the first word, you listen. I ask you to help us understand what it means to pray without ceasing and give us the ability to form the habit of running to you first. Thank you for Jesus.