Saturday, January 22, 2011

Off the Hook

"...pray continually;" 1 Thessalonians 5:17

To pray without ceasing means I must leave the communication lines between me and God open all day long. Sounds like a tall order! Thankfully, when I was a new believer, a friend gave me a visual that has helped me to do just that, regularly and effectively, for 20-some years now.

Here is what she taught me...

To pray continually, I must make talking to Jesus my first priority each day when I wake, the last thing on my mind when I go to sleep, and talk to Him throughout the day in between. If I start my day with "Dear God" or "Good morning Lord," I open the lines of communication like taking the phone off the hook and dialing His number. Even if I get interrupted or don't have time for a long conversational prayer at that moment, the lines are open. Before long, I do take time for more focused prayer, and then continue talking to Him throughout the day. I share my thoughts, ask questions, voice concerns, comment on creation, thank Him for people and little blessings, and praise His name. Once or more each day it's a lengthy conversation. Other times it's just a quick sentence or two and a smile. Sometimes it's trying to be still and listen for His voice and His response. I try to be intentional about not "hanging up the phone" (saying "Amen") until the end of the day when my head is on the pillow again. Metaphorically speaking, leaving the phone "off the hook" all day leaves the 2-way line of communication open as a reminder to pray continually. Try it and see what you think!

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