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Thursday, 26 November 2015

Prayer - an essential part of life!

A small boy had been used to sleeping with a night-light in his room.  Eventually, however, his parents decided that he was old enough to dispense with that light, and sleep in the darkened room.  On the first night, as his mother switched off the light, he asked plaintively: "Mum, do I really have to sleep in the dark?"  "Yes", came the reply, "you are getting to be a big boy now!"  "Well", came the reply out of the darkness, "may I get up an say my prayers again - more carefully?"!

Many of us, I would suggest, "say prayers" when we should be praying - and there is a big difference!  And, too often, many of us pray carelessly.  That's one of the problems with "saying prayers".  The constant repetition of the same words may be okay for a child who is only learning to come into the presence of Almighty God in this way, but for mature adults who claim to be disciples of Jesus, it is surely not enough!  Most of us, I suspect, need to slow down, and to pray thoughtfully, and meaningfully.

Prayer, indeed, ought to be such a habit that it becomes as natural as breathing.  Paul exhorted the Ephesian believers to "Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication." (Eph 6:18).  The disciples of Jesus in Thessalonica were likewise encouraged to "... pray constantly, ..." (I Thess 5:17).   He assured the fellowship in Colossae that he and his companions "... have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, to lead a life worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God." (Col 1:9-10).

However, making prayer a habit ought not to make it any less meaningful.  We need to set aside a time to pray, making it a priority, and not something that we somehow manage to "fit in" if we happen to have time!  Prayer can probably never be quite as natural as breathing, but it is just as essential to our spiritual well-being as breathing is to our physical life, and we can make it such a habit that we never need to be reminded of it!

Some may recall the little one-liner of many years ago: "Seven days without prayer, make one weak"!  That is still true today.

Let us pray!

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