Communication is one of the easiest… and hardest things we have to do. In an age of telephones, email, and cell phones, it is as easy as ever to reach out and talk to someone, but to truly communicate is sometimes a difficult process. Most everyone can relate to this truth with those we deal with in life, but have you reflected on this in regard to prayer? This is probably the simplest form of communication, yet at the same time, the most difficult. The foreseeable future will be spent investigating prayer and its place in the life of God’s children.
Have you ever considered the number of types of prayer and how they are delivered? There are prayers of thanksgiving, petition, intercession, praise and repentance to name a few. You have heard or even offered yourself brief prayers, spontaneous prayers, public or private prayers or maybe even a written prayer… But when should prayers be offered? King David, a man after God’s own heart prayed at all sorts of times. He prayed before retiring in the evening, before beginning the day, when under attack, when he had sinned, and when awed by the wondrous creation of God.
When do we pray? Is it only when we begin to feel the heavy weight of life and want that burden lifted? We tend to be selfish creatures, with few exceptions, and as such we pray for our needs rather than the needs of others. More often than not it is in times of distress involving the loss of loved ones or ills of family friends or our own ills.
Thinking about all the times we see David in prayer we have to believe that we are to be ready at all times to offer to God some communication we desire to express… an instinct to turn to Him first. What is your instinct when faced with trials, or joy, or the challenges of a new day, or simply reflecting on the events of completed day? I would challenge you to heed the words of Paul to the church at Ephesus, “Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” (Ephesians 6:18 – NIV)
Copyright © 2004, Nolan P. Rutter