Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. (Jer 33:3 KJV)
It was Brother Lawrence, in the 17th century, who wrote a book called ‘The Practice of the Presence of God’. Apparently the wisdom he imparted had to do with learning to be aware of God’s presence in all the little things of life, at all times, in all places. Being aware that God is there with you in everything you do and say, is in fact a kind of prayer, a communion with the Spirit of God that perhaps transcends words. It can bring peace, joy, harmony into our frantic lives.
Of course, people pray in different ways. Some insist that the only time to pray is as the dawn is breaking – or perhaps even earlier, before the children wake up. Others of us are certain that in our semi-consciousness, prayer is simply not an option before we get that first cup of coffee in the morning.
Some feel the only way to pray is on our knees, and any other position lacks humility (and by the way, it is possible to kneel in bed, under the covers on a cold night). On the other hand, standing up with hands raised was one of the earliest postures for reaching out to God, not some invention of the crazy charismatics.
Some find they want to pray, but just can’t think of any words. (If that’s you, try using the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6: take each phrase slowly and spend time meditating on it. Or use the gift of tongues, through which the Holy Spirit speaks directly to God – Rom 8:26). Others find their mind wanders and their prayers run all over the world and back again – and they end up wondering what they prayed for. (If that’s you, try writing down some headings before you start).
Some don’t feel it’s a proper prayer unless they use special language. Others don’t feel it’s genuine unless they use their own everyday language.
Some pray as they travel – by car, bike, bus, train, or on foot. A friend of ours once gave us a lift in his car, and as the sun came up he burst into heartfelt praise and thanksgiving, as if we weren’t there. I’ve tried to imitate that spontaneity ever since.
Some feel it’s disrespectful to raise their voice. Others express their freedom with ‘shouts of praise’ (e.g. Ps 100:1)
What does God prefer? Simply this: that you love Him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. As we embark upon this week of prayer, the most important thing is that you are reaching out to Him in your heart. He understands every human language, every ‘love language’, every desire – and He loves spending time with you as you come to Him.
Enjoy the week.