We’ve all been there before… everyone’s looking around, no one wants to volunteer, and finally, after some awkward glances and not wanting to prolong the silence, some self-sacrificing individual finally sighs and says, “Okay, I’ll say grace.”
As comical as that situation might seem, the sad truth is that’s how a lot of us react when it comes to prayer. We see it as a chore, this obligatory gesture one needs to make to God as a Christian. For a lot of us it’s not fun. Worse still, we’re guilt ridden. We don’t pray enough, so we feel guilty, and because we feel guilty, the more we don’t want to pray. And the cycle continues.
Prayer is not a punishment
It’s important to realize that God didn’t create prayer to make us miserable. Rather, it’s a means by which God draws closer to us. Through prayer, we’re able to enter into an on-going conversation with God, listening for His voice, and also getting the chance to pour out our hearts to Him. Prayer is when we get to tell God exactly what we think and feel. And the most amazing part? He listens. Better yet, He talks back.
Prayer is where it begins
If you look at some of the biggest revivals in history, one of the common themes you’ll find is that it all started with a prayer. One or two people getting together, and presenting their requests to God (Phil 4:6), and then letting Him take the reins.
Jesus himself said it quite plainly, “Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Matt 7:7) God is always ready to get stuff rolling, but a lot of times, we first need to be willing to ask and be directed.
Prayer can happen anywhere, anytime, with anyone
We’ve got to realize that more than an action, prayer is simply a conversation. There is no set way to pray, no right or wrong words to use. Prayer is simply about being honest with God, and can take many forms. Knees getting sore from kneeling? Hands cramping from being folded too long? No problem! Take a drive, write a letter, sing a song, take a walk. God is everywhere, and always ready to talk when you want to.
The bottom line is this: prayer is a whole lot simpler than you might think. And I for one think the reason for that is so we can pray anytime, anywhere, in any situation. Because here’s the thing, any moment could be an opportunity to see God move. And if God’s waiting on us to ask Him, then what are we waiting for? Why not pray and ask? You’d be surprised at what could happen.