First of all let me apologise for the more-intermittent-than-usual nature of my blog posts recently. That is down to me not having enough time near my computer to communicate some of the random thoughts that bounce around my brain through my fingers, via the keyboard, onto the blog. That may not improve over the next few days due to rehearsals for the magic show on Saturday (see previous bloggages) but hopefully next week…
In the meantime, here’s a continuation of a train of thought that I have occasionally followed here. I find that when I am closer to God prayer becomes more natural. And when prayer is more natural I feel even closer to God. (The opposite is also true). I also find that when I am closer to God different things prompt my praying.
For example, now I have a regional role I am driving a lot around the lovely county of Essex (8000 miles in the last 5 months!). When I see a road sign for somewhere where there is a Baptist church I try to offer a quick prayer for them. When I was driving through torrential rain recently I reflected that I would have been drenched had I not been in my car and then thought that it would be wonderful to be drenched again by God’s Spirit. Phone calls and emails from people can also prompt prayers for them. If I see an ambulance I can pray for those I know who are sick (and if the blue lights are on, for the people in the ambulance (paramedics and patients). And so on.
In other words, I am trying to use my circumstances and experiences as prompts for my praying. Prayer should not be confined to church, as if it needed to be protected from contamination. It is not only for special moments when we have God’s attention and he has ours. Prayer, at its best, is an ongoing conversation with God – chatting to him through the day. And as we chat we find that he also speaks – for example when I see a road sign for somewhere where there is a Baptist church I hear him remind me that ‘church’ is his Plan A for letting the world know about him, and he doesn’t have a Plan B. When I was driving through torrential rain recently I heard him say that he wanted to drench me too. He speaks to me through phone calls and emails from people. If I see an ambulance he might speak to me of the needs of others and also how he cares for each person on the planet. And so on.
For me it takes the pressure off my praying and also helps me shed the evangelical guilt that comes from limiting God to a ‘quiet time’.
I am not disparaging public prayers in church, they are important. I am not saying that it is not a good idea to set aside special times to pray. But I will go so far as to say that God would prefer to chat with us than to be restricted to specific moments. What do you think?
Be blessed, be a blessing