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When you think of the word “prayer,” what comes to mind? Being on bended knees with eyes closed and face reverently upturned toward heaven? Praying for an hour or more? “Preparing” yourself spiritually through a religious ritual like the ACTS formula (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication)?
Or when you pray, do you just hang out with God in friendship and talk to Him a few minutes, openly sharing your heart?
This is the way I pray, and I encourage you to do so, too. Jesus is not just my Savior, my Deliverer, my King, but also my very best Friend. When I pray, I just talk to Him and He talks to me. It’s a conversation, an intimate relationship between us, like having a cup of good coffee with a friend (or if you’re not a coffee drinker, think of your favorite drink).
You don’t have to pray for hours every day or get into a certain physical posture to pray. You don’t have to get all “cleaned up” to pray. The blood that Jesus Christ shed for you on Calvary was enough; God is the one who cleans you up through Jesus’ redemptive and finished work over 2,000 years ago.
You don’t have to wait in long lines or stay on hold for ten minutes, after pushing in number 1, 2, 4, or 7 on the phone to get through to the right party’s extension.
God doesn’t take vacations, and He doesn’t have call waiting. He already has you down each day on His DayPlanner – He’s just waiting to BE with you!
In only a few minutes a day, you can grow closer to God. Many people get under condemnation because they think they are “supposed” to pray for at least an hour every day or hours, or only during the early part of the morning – you know, “like Jesus did.”
The Bible does give examples of Jesus going away alone early in the morning to the mountains or other solitary places to pray. But that doesn’t mean He ONLY prayed in the early morning. God doesn’t lock Heaven’s doors at 9 a.m. with a big sign, “You missed Me! Try again tomorrow before the crack of dawn!”
God loves you so much and He is ALWAYS there for you, eager to hear from you. Song of Solomon 2:14 says, “O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, In the secret places of the cliff, Let me see your face, Let me hear your voice, For your voice is sweet, And your face is lovely.”
Did you hear that? God says your voice is SWEET, and your face is LOVELY to Him! God is wild about you. He is there for you at 4 o’clock in the afternoon or at midnight, ready to spend some quality time with you. You don’t have to be a morning person. I’m certainly not (and really cheerful morning people get on my nerves, lol!).
Many times my time with God is late at night, just before I go to bed. Your devotional time with God can be whenever you can pull away with Him. He made you with your internal clock; He gets you! So pray at night. Then sleep well. God doesn’t need to! In fact, He’s awake all night long looking after His people. Psalm 121:4 says, “The protector of Israel doesn’t doze or ever get drowsy.” What a relief that God isn’t up in heaven, snoring while the whole world goes to chaos!
God can’t wait to talk to you, no matter what time it is. You can pray at the kitchen counter as you’re fixing the little ones’ lunches. You can pray in the afternoon as you’re laying down for a nap. You can pray before you go to bed after a long, tiring day. You can pray at 2 a.m. nursing the baby.
You can pray driving down the highway on your way through rush hour traffic. You can pray in the shower or taking a hike or mowing the lawn. You can pray sitting, laying down, kneeling, walking, running, dancing, hopping, mopping, bopping, shopping, rapping, just whatever!
The point is to just have consistent time every day with God. Talking to Him like you would a friend. All that matters is that you develop that intimate relationship with Him through daily prayer, studying His word, and worshipping Him.
In the morning as you’re getting ready for your day, you can just say a prayer of thanksgiving for a brand new, beautiful day with His new mercies. As you’re flat-ironing your hair or brushing your teeth, shaving, or frying bacon, you can dedicate the day to God and ask for His wisdom and direction in your life today.
As you’re picking up the dry cleaning or your husband’s dirty socks off the floor, you can pray and ask God to bless your husband, to help him walk in God’s path of light and truth. As you prepare meals, you can thank God for His abundant provision and blessings, and pray for those who are without any food today in the slums of America or in Third World nations, and ask God to provide for them.
As you drop off the kids to school or tell them bye when they leave for the bus stop, or as you prepare to homeschool them, you can pray and thank God for the wonderful privilege of being a mom, or dad – these precious gifts He has given you to bless your life and give you such joy.
When you’re tired and worn out, you can ask Him for strength. When hard times come, when you’re hurting, you can just call on the name of Jesus and He’ll be right there.
You can spend a few minutes each day reading portions of the Bible or from a devotional, and even commit those verses to memory by taping them on your bathroom mirror or repeating them to yourself throughout the day.
As you’re taking your daily walk or doing some time on the treadmill, you can pray and thank God that you still have your health and ask Him to help you with the discipline to get fit and healthier. Or you can just enjoy nature, drinking in this beautiful world He made for you and me.
Prayer is just communication with God. You pouring out your heart to Him like Hannah in the Bible did as she prayed for a son, sharing the little and the big things with Him each day. Listening to Him – that still, small voice of Love. Obeying what He tells you to do. It’s like texting or email – instant access to the throne of God – with no busy signals or bounces!
You and I may not have an hour to carve out of our hectic, busy schedules each day to pray and read the Bible. But we do have at least five minutes a day to be with Him. As time permits, we can make even more time to pray in our schedule.
The more time you spend with God, the more you’ll want to! Your hunger for Him and His word will grow. Begin to make room for little snatches of time through the day to just become aware of the presence of Jesus, and silently pray. Telling Him what’s on your mind and heart. He really cares and wants to help you and be there for you.
Listening for His instructions and His word in due season. Maybe He’ll speak to you a word of encouragement that you can give your husband, your child, your co-worker, your neighbor, the woman at the post office. His presence and Spirit anointing you to take the good news to others. to heal the sick, to set the captives free. Taking up your cross, denying yourself, and following Him.
God has given you an invitation of love right now to come and spend some time with Him. The door is wide open. Will you take five right now and pull away with Him? He’s waiting just for you.
write by Angela