“There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful than that of a continual conversation with God.” – Brother Lawrence
A new year is on the horizon and there are many things that we assume will make our life more enjoyable and satisfying. Better health. More money. More stuff. Stronger relationships. I’m not “poo-pooing” resolutions altogether, but will these attempts at self improvement really make life it’s sweetest?
Try something new this year. Focus less on improving yourself. Don’t text as much. Cut out some of the needless activities. Be content with a few less Facebook updates. Simplify your commitments and talk with God more. Now, notice that I didn’t say talk to God more. If there is one thing about prayer we often get wrong it’s that we talk too much. We blabber on about more things than necessary. We try and make the little things the big thing. Sometimes we miss the point of prayer altogether.
Prayer is like oxygen. It should be a regular habit. As the intake of oxygen decreases so our brains ability to think and reason decreases. Likewise, as the your communication with God decreases your ability to think and act wisely decreases. A day without prayer is a day without life-support. Paul’s command in I Thessalonians 5:17 is, “Never stop praying!”. Paul wasn’t saying this to get us to talk to God more. It was about orienting ones life. When the center of our life revolves around communication with God our Father then all things are possible.
Prayers are not meant to be used like a suggestion box or a wish list. We need to refocus. If prayer is more than my words, then what’s the “more”? I have this expectation that somewhere there in the “more” is the key to what prayer really means. I believe Jesus gives us a glimpse in Matthew 6.
“Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
Set the world right;
Do what’s best—
as above, so below.
Keep us alive with three square meals.
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You’re in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You’re ablaze in beauty!” (MSG)
Notice the focus on the character of God, the desire to have more of Him and His will, the trust upon God’s provisions, the necessity of forgiveness, and the dependance upon His power.
“We must begin to bel
ieve that God, in the mystery of prayer, has entrusted us with a force that can move the Heavenly world, and can bring its power down to earth.” – Andrew Murray
Listen to the heart of God. Tell Him the deep of yours. And, let this year revolve around intimate and constant communion with your great Father. The more time we spend with God the less time we will waste on self-change. True transformation will happen through our communion with Him.
That’s when life becomes it’s sweetest.