This weekend my husband, Darrel, and I concluded our 3-week sermon series on prayer, “Finding God in All Things.” The invitation of Jesus to keeping company with him (John 15) is not so much about a strategy as it is learning to be attentive to his continual and available presence.
Our purpose in this series was to expand our understanding and practice of prayer. We recognize how easy it is to fall into a trap of thinking in terms of how we can craft prayers that will get God to act. The reality of prayer is that is so much more vast and expansive than our actual experience of prayer. Prayer encompasses the many and varied ways we connect with God throughout the busyness and messiness of our days.
We have presented prayer is a way of…pausing, noticing, opening, yielding and stretching, and surrendering…to a Person. It’s a way of connecting…not just getting. It’s a way of responding to the over-arching invitation of God to be WITH him in on-going interactive friendship.
In Week 2 we shared about the many actual prayers contained in Nehemiah’s prayer in Nehemiah, Chapter 1. Prayers like: the prayer of lament; prayer of confession; intercessory prayer, liturgical prayer, the Daily Office, and more. Hopefully, we expanded our perception and, ultimately, our experience in prayer in really practical ways.
Yesterday we concluded with in-the-moment prayers. These are prayers that are neither “fancy” nor deliberate. They are the cries of our hearts…in the moment…and express what’s truest about it. Scripture is replete with them. You probably say them everyday but because they are not expressed in any kind of “formal” way, we have discounted them as actual prayers. Most of them are one word. Yet, they are a complete prayer and God hears them.
If prayer has become stale or disconnected from your life (more than you’d like to admit), I hope you check out these resources.
For more resources on prayer, check out the 9-month Keeping Company With Jesus Journey.