Early in the pandemic, my friend, Adelle Lauchlan, shared with me some thoughts that she had shared with the congregation of which she is a part. From time to time, with her permission, I have shared one with you, and this one in particular spoke to me today. Enjoy! – Jeff+
I think a lot about prayer, maybe because I pray a lot. Praying is one of the perks and privileges of my work.
But praying isn’t something I grew up doing.
Although I grew up going to church, prayer wasn’t part of my response. Prayer was something someone else did for me, or more accurately, “over me”. I fell away from church for over a decade after high school, and when I found my way back to church, I asked my pastor for a book on how to pray. He handed me a book titled Teaching Conversational Prayer.
I never read it.
It sat beside my bed for months. But it was the most transformative book never to be read. The title taught me what I needed to grasp. Prayer is a conversation. Prayer is a response to God’s love.
That book title was a revelation for me. Once I let faith rule in my heart, once I let Christ live in my heart, prayer became natural. Prayer didn’t need to be fancy, it didn’t need to be formatted, it just needed to be me talking to my God, my Creator, the One who loves me, the One who sent his only Son to save me; it just needed to be done.
I didn’t need to know how to pray, I just needed to pray.
My prayers are a loving response to the One who loves us best, to the One who is love. He created us to pray. And when I forget this or my prayer life turns stale, I need only look to Scripture for encouragement, for a reminder of God’s love.
The Apostle Paul prayed a lot. I love his prayer for the Ephesians; here is just a small bit of it. This is my prayer for you: “I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit – not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength – that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in” (Eph 3:16-17, The Message).