I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my supplications. Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live. ~Psalm 116:1-2, NRSV
I have much to learn about prayer. After all it has only been about 37 years ago that I said ‘yes‘ to Jesus and was immersed in the chilly waters at the Barton Avenue Church of Christ in Luling, Louisiana. Since then I have gone through various stages of prayer.
For a while it was a perfunctory prayer. There wasn’t much heart in it, but it did happen. That had to count for something, right?
Prayer turned a bit more passionate in my teenage and early adult life as guilt and conscience worked on my heart. Most of the time I felt like my prayers were about as effective as my battles against sin. Not very.
As a student at a Bible college and then a graduate, prayer because more about using the right words and making sure I said everything the way I was supposed to.
At other times in life prayer was … absent. It’s not that I didn’t believe prayer was important or even needed … it’s just that I was all prayed out about some things that just never did seem to be resolved.
Then there were times when prayer was more purposeful … attention was given to not only the content but the heart … and the commitments made to pray for others as well as myself seemed very authentic.
No one ever taught me to pray this way. There is a sense in which prayer is your own personal adventure. (I always loved Robert Schuller’s book title Prayer: My Soul’s Adventure With God. The book is pretty good too!) There are probably other seasons of prayer. I’ve been through all of them repeatedly. I wish I could say there was a steady path upward toward prayer transcendence for me, but that just isn’t true.
And while I know it’s true that there are no perfect prayers nor perfect people offering prayer, I do believe that God inclines his ear when we talk to Him. There’s something a bit awkward about our efforts to converse with the Creator of the Universe, but I think He gets that.
Psalm 116:2 in the New Living Translation says, “Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath.”
It is in my heart to grow in my prayer life … and to always be someone who prays. As long as I live … as long as I have breath. Even when I fail to pray as I think I should, God bends down to listen. How blessed can a person be when God desires to pay attention to what you have to say! I encourage you … keep on praying.
Thanks for reading!
Here are some books for your Kindle. Double check the price before buying!
Why God Waits For You To Pray ($5.77)
Finding God in Hidden Places ($7.69)
Hope…the Best of Things ($1.99)
Heaven: Your Real Home ($1.99)