“Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
It’s a tall order to pray without ceasing. But the apostle Paul describes it as “God’s will for you through Christ Jesus.”
We clearly need to understand prayer in terms other than us talking, or none of us will succeed (with one or two exceptions).
What if we define prayer less in terms of the words we speak and more in terms of the attentiveness we give—constant attentiveness to His Presence? This seems more consistent with the heart of Paul’s exhortation, and consistent with the desire of the Lord.
Lent invites us to a deeper journey of prayer. But if we think this requires just an extra ten minutes squeezed somewhere into the day, we may miss something quite vital.
We ought not measure prayer by the clock but by our hearts. How often throughout the day do we turn our hearts towards Christ?
Perhaps we speak no words at all. But for a moment—even a fleeting moment—we acknowledge His Presence and pause in His company. And perhaps the heart simply sighs “Yes. Amen.”
Frank Laubach, a great pioneer and missionary to the Philippines last century, longed to give Christ a conscious thought every minute of his waking day. How might such attentiveness change us, and change the world.
Lent is our lab for this experience.
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—I want to walk more closely with You. Please open the eyes of my heart to see You more clearly. Today, guide my heart towards You constantly. Amen.