As a young Christian I used to hear many intimidating stories about great people of God who would pray for hours. Certain “saints” prayed most of the day it seemed. One of them wore grooves in the wooden floor where they kneeled, apparently continuously. I heard so many stories and the scriptures to back them up.

Those stories inspired me but also deflated my hopes of ever being a person that God could use. How could I ever pray that long? I had trouble concentrating after a few minutes of praying.

I Thessalonians 5:17 “Pray without ceasing.”

Scriptures like this don’t mean you will be kneeling twenty-four hours a day. And you don’t have to take a stopwatch to your prayer time to make sure you have prayed enough. It means something so much better than that.

While I still admire the “prayer warriors” that I read about and I do pray longer than I used to.

I realized that prayer is more of an open line of communication. You may say amen, but you don’t have to stop praying.

When you make a phone call, at the end you say “goodbye” and hang up. If you kept talking into the phone when the other person disconnected it would be pointless. Prayer isn’t like that. There are definite times when it’s focused and concentrated but prayer is more like texting throughout the day.

At any time you can send a message, at any time you can receive a message. You may even say goodbye through a text but a few minutes later another text can come in.

Prayer is an attitude of openness. Openness to express something or listen closely to what God is saying. That is what it means to “pray without ceasing.”

So pray at home or wherever you have decided is a great quite place.

But keep the lines of communication open all day.

Wouldn’t it be nice to live your day in constant communication with your Father?

Written by Tom Wise © Finding Wonder 2013

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