When discussing the concept of prayer, our minds naturally gravitate toward self-discipline. Specifically, we tend to focus our thoughts on what we call “devotions”.
Since I was a child it has been ingrained in my thinking that a healthy spiritual life is largely dependent on one’s ability to consistently set aside time to pray. I agree completely with this sentiment and have no intentions of refuting what I have heard preached consistently my entire life.
However, I would like to add to the conversation another layer of thought.
In my relationship with Jesus, I would compare my connectivity to Him more to my relationship with my wife than with a friend in another town. I have found it easy to slip into a mental perspective of the Lord, which compartmentalizes Him as if I were scheduling a phone call with an out of town friend as opposed to living with Him.
I live with my wife. We see each other when we wake up and when we go to sleep. Sometimes we share details of our day and sometimes we simply share space. Sometimes we have deep conversation and sometimes we discuss the most common of our daily experience.
When I am at work we text one another. Sometimes the text is about important matters and sometimes it is simply a check in to see what the other is doing.
There are very few decisions I make without considering and notifying her…even work decisions. At the conclusion of the day, we debrief one another on all our happenings. At times there is much to be said and at other times there is no need for anything but silence.
Interaction can be struck up at any moment without any need for formality or ritual. Introductions and normal cultural dialogue starters are not needed. We have a familiarity, a comfort and an ease, which disengage
pretense and is layered with years of context. We share a life on every level.
This is what it is like to be in relationship with Jesus. When we think of the phrase “prayer life”, our minds often move toward passion, faith, intensity and unwavering determination. Those traits should certainly manifest in our prayer life.
However, when I think of prayer I also think of the infilling of the Holy Spirit, who has been in fellowship with the Father and Son since before
all things. Holy Spirit pulls me into a different relational capacity where I
no longer have to segment my life, differentiating between spiritual moments and non-spiritual moments.
Spirit-filled prayer is pervasive awareness, perpetual consideration and the ability to perceive the Lord in the midst of anything and everything.
It is to have every fiber engaged with the Lord whether we are softly using a prayer language, warring for a resolution or simply considering the scope of God’s presence in our life.
By all means, let it never be said of us that we have forsaken the prayer closet. But also let it never be said of us that we locked God in that closet.