‘Pray at all times (pray without ceasing).’
1 Thessalonians 5:17
I never truly understood this verse. I always believed it and desired to experience it. Yet it seemed a mystery. A good but unrealistic intention. How can you pray all day long? Do you withdraw away just to spend time with God like a hermit? Do you neglect your mundane duties of work and family? Is it some sort of a special power for super-Christians (which don’t exist)?
In the last few weeks I had a new insight into understanding this type of prayer. When you step out of your mundane routines into the rollecoaster experience of a trauma or a trial, you simply lose control. You come face to face with a whole set of difficulties and sometimes seemingly impossibilities even. You lose control and you find yourself powerless… Your intellectual, financial, relational resources are simply not sufficient.
And that’s when you’re that desperate that you begIn to talk to the Father. You don’t compose prayers. You don’t go through lists. You don’t quote Bible verses back to Him. You don’t do it because it’s a scheduled ‘quiet time’. You don’t do it because you feel guilty or trying to impress anyone. You’re simply at the end of your hope and in a childlike manner, you run to your Heavenly Father.
That’s the secret. It’s not a special spiritual skill or discipline. It’s desperation. And I guess unless you get to that state it’s difficult to experience it. I know that not all of us will go through those experiences all the time. But we are just as weak, vulnerable and powerless at any given moment in time. Control is just an illusion.
We’re always nothing and can do nothing without Him! Fact! Yet too often we deceive ourselves and try to live that way. And that’s why prayer is neglected or transformed into a ritual.
We have a choice. Daily. Moment by moment. We can chose to talk to Him or talk to friends. We can chose to try to fix things with our resources or talk to Him. We can chose to pretend or talk to Him. We can chose pride or vulnerability, and talk to Him. And that’s the secret of experiencing this verse.