One morning this week, the text messages and emails started coming in early. One message was from a woman struggling both physically and emotionally. Another message was from a family on vacation who met a man I know. This man lost his wife earlier this year and is grieving her death. When they met they made their connection in Christ and prayed together. Then, I read an email that linked me to a report about a former pastor who has now declared himself to no longer be a Christian. All of this by 6am.
So, guess what the content of my praying was that morning? I prayed for a struggling woman, a Grace family on vacation, a friend and grieving husband, and a former pastor I don’t even know.
To practice everyday prayer, we need to pray about the things we face every day. What is on your schedule today? What is the content of the calls, text messages, and emails you received today? What are the news stories you heard on the drive to work or while running errands? Do you have a meeting today? Are you helping someone with a task? What are the conversations awaiting you? These are the things of your everyday life and the things about which you pray.
Maybe we don’t pray because bringing a spiritual reality like prayer into our everyday experience is too mysterious to us. Or, perhaps our everyday prayers about everyday things don’t feel special enough to match the spiritual nature of prayer. More likely, we have just not had enough practice in prayer to see that it can be done with energy and joy even if its mystery remains or if our prayers seem mundane.
Let me encourage you to pray. Take the bold, maybe even awkward, step of talking to God. Talk to God about the practical things of life. Pray about the things that are right in front of you, next on your schedule, and coming to you through texts and email. Make it a practice to pray about all things in your life.
Keeping a prayer list is a good practice. Prayer lists keep us intentional about praying for important areas of life and for the people in our lives. Another good practice is to pray about everything that comes our way on any given day. These things aren’t usually on a list. We can’t anticipate these needs. They just happen to us. Every day we encounter new people, new events, new challenges, and new needs. So, every day we pray new prayers.
As you try to build a life of prayer every day, don’t forget to pray for the everyday things of your life.
This Sunday at Grace we will sing and pray, and talk about praying together.